International Orthopaedics

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 262–266 | Cite as

The role of osteophytic growth in hip osteoarthritis

  • Paul NeumanEmail author
  • Anders Hulth
  • Bjarne Lindén
  • Olof Johnell
  • Leif Dahlberg
Original Paper


We studied the appearance and frequency of the medial epiarticular osteophyte in human femoral heads. Specimens were sampled from 24 men and 31 women who underwent total hip arthroplasty. On radiography, medial epiarticular osteophytes were present in two thirds of the cases. However, histological examination revealed endochondral ossification in all. Presumably, the bone formation was preceded by the formation of canals and cavities containing vessels. Due to the ossification around these canals and cavities, the histological picture frequently featured two layers of cartilage with bone in the middle. Also in the marginal osteophytes, bone was formed by endochondral ossification. However, this bone appeared more irregular. The new bone formation most likely indicates a reactivated growth as an attempt to repair the osteoarthritic lesions rather than a process of degradation.


Bone Formation Femoral Head Subchondral Bone Endochondral Ossification Joint Cartilage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Nous avons étudié l'apparence et la fréquence de l'ostéophyte épiarticulaire médial dans les têtes fémorales humaines. Les spécimens ont été prélevés chez 24 hommes et 31 femmes qui ont subi une arthroplastie totale de la hanche. Sur les radiographies, ces ostéophytes étaient présents dans deux cas sur trois et l'examen histologique a révélé de l'ossification endochondrale dans tous les cas. Vraisemblablement la formation de l'os a été précédée par la formation de canaux et cavités qui contiennent des vaisseaux. A cause de l'ossification autour ces canaux et cavités, l'image histologique a fréquemment montré deux couches de cartilage entourant une couche osseuse. Dans les ostéophytes marginaux, l'os a aussi été formé par ossification endochondrale. Cependant, cet os a paru plus irrégulier. La nouvelle formation osseuse indique très probablement une croissance réactivée comme une tentative pour réparer les lésions arthrosiques, plutôt qu'un processus de dégénération.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Neuman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders Hulth
    • 1
  • Bjarne Lindén
    • 2
  • Olof Johnell
    • 1
  • Leif Dahlberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsMalmö University HospitalMalmöSweden
  2. 2.HöglandssjukhusetEksjöSweden

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