Congenital Femoral Deformity

A congenital femoral deficiency (CFD) is a congenital defect involving the femur bone, the hip joint above the femur, the knee joint below the femur, and the muscles that cross the hip joint. The main feature of this disorder is that the femur bone is too short. In most children, not only is the femur bone severely shortened, but the hip joint is also deformed. In some cases, a hip joint may not form at all.

CFD may be associated with other limb deficiency conditions, with the most common one being a fibula hemimelia. Except when caused by rare genetic defects, children with CFD are often very healthy, have normal intelligence, and can lead normal lives.

Learn more about fibula hemimelia


The goal of CFD treatment is similar to any child with a large difference in limb lengths: to have the limbs be as close in length as possible by the time the child is fully grown. This minimizes future pain and maximizes potential function. The type of CFD treatment is based on two main factors:

  1. How short one femur bone is projected to be compared to the other side
  2. How involved the hip joint is

If the femur bone is not projected to be severely short, and the hip and knee are in good condition, your doctor may recommend a lengthening surgery in the future. If doctors determine the femur bone will be too short to lengthen, or the hip joint is not present, your physician may recommend surgery that will help your child to fit into a prosthesis.