Shortened fetal femur

Last revised by Dr Jeremy Jones on 20 Sep 2021

A shortened fetal femur is a morphological descriptor and is usually defined when the femoral length falls below the 5th centile for gestational age (some define it when it is under the 2.5th centile 5) or less than 0.91 predicted by the biparietal diameter (BPD). It can occur in isolated or in association with a number of other anomalies.


According to the former definition (i.e. using the 5th centile), the estimated incidence is at 5% of pregnancies.


Recognized associations include


If detected in the 2nd trimester, a careful search for any other fetal anomalies as well as a follow up scan later in the pregnancy 6 is often recommended.

Treatment and prognosis

The prognosis tends to be variable depending on the presence of associated anomalies.

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