Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 201–207 | Cite as

The course of osteons in the compact bone of the human proximal femur with clinical and biomechanical significance

  • Václav Báča
  • David Kachlík
  • Zdeněk Horák
  • Josef Stingl
Original Article


The aim of the study was to analyze the structure and course of osteons in the compact bone of individual regions of the upper end of the femur and to consider the possible association with the course of typical peritrochanteric fracture lines. The issue of the architecture of this region has been dealt with by a number of authors since the first half of the nineteenth century, but until the present structural analysis it has been examined only by a few authors. We analyzed the structure of bones on specimens prepared by the method of repeated grinding, impregnating and polishing of the bone surface. We grounded and subsequently evaluated the bone in 20 dry specimens of the proximal femur, where the courses of the central vascular canals were described in the region of the femoral neck, the lesser trochanter, the greater trochanter, the intertrochanteric crest and line. The osteons were incorporated into a biomechanical model of the proximal femur and compared with the FEM model and correlation with the distribution of surface stresses was described. Certain areas were identified in the region of the trochanters where the course of osteons coincided with the course of the typical fracture lines of peritrochanteric fractures with typical fragments.


Osteons Proximal femur Peritrochanteric fractures Surface stress distribution Finite element modeling 



The study was prepared with the support of GAUK 103/2000/C and the MSM 111200003 research project. This work was granted the Young Investigator’s Award at the 16th International Congress of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA) 2004 in Kyoto, Japan.


  1. 1.
    Benninghof A (1925) Spaltlinien am Knochen, eine Methode zur Ermittlung der Architektur platter Knochen. Ver Anat Ges 34:189–205Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bergmann G, Deuretbacher G, Keller M (2001) Hip contact forces and gait patterns from routine activities. J Biomech 34:859–871PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blaimont P (1968) Contribution à l’étude biomécanique du fémur humain. Acta Med Belgica 34:1–144Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cohen J, Harris WH (1958) The three-dimensional anatomy of Haversian systems. J Bone J Surg 40A:419–434Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Duda GN, Schneider E, Chao EYS (1993) Internal forces and moments in the femur during walking. J Biomech 30:933–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Griffin JB (1982) The calcar femorale redefined. Clin Orthop 164:211–214PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heřt J, Fiala P, Petrtýl M (1993) Structure and loading mode of long bones in man. Acta Chir Orthop Traumat Cechoslovaca 60:199–208Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Heřt J, Fiala P, Petrtýl M (1994) Osteon orientation of the diaphysis of the long bone in man. Bone 15:269–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hoffmann R, Haas NP (2000) Femur: proximal. In: Rüedi TP, Murphy WM (eds) AO principles of fracture management. Thieme, Stuttgart, pp 445–459Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Keyak JH, Rossi SA, Jones KA, Skinner HB (1998) Prediction of femoral fracture load using automated finite element modeling. J Biomech 31:125–133PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Koch JC (1917) The laws of bone architecture. Am J Anat 21:177–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lange F, Pitzen P (1921) Zur Anatomie des oberen Femurendes. Z Orthop Chir 41:105–134Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lanyon LE (1975) Bone deformation recorded in vivo from strain gauges attached to the human tibial shaft. Acta Orthop Scand 46:256–268PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marique P (1945) Études sur le fémur. Librairie des sciences, Bruxelles, pp 1–180Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Merkel F (1874) Betrachtungen über das Os Femoris. Arch Pathol Anat 59:237–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mow VC, Ratcliffe A, Woo SLY (1990) Biomechanics of diarthrodial joints. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 155–174Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pauwels F (1935) Der Schenkelhalsbruch. Ein mechanisches Problem. F. Enke, Stuttgart, pp 1–157Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pauwels F (1965) Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur funktionellen Anatomie des Bewegungsapparates. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 392Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Peltier LF (1990) Fractures: a history and iconography of their treatment. Norman Publishing, San Francisco, pp 1–273Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Peng L, Bai J, Zeng X, Zhou Y (2006) Comparison of isotropic and orthotropic material property assignments on femoral finite element models under two loading conditions. Med Eng Phys 28:227–233PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sinelnikov NA (1937) Spatial architecture of osteons in the diaphysis of the femur in man and other primates. Antrop Zurnal 3:102–115Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Taylor SJG, Walker PS (2001) Forces and moments telemetred from two distal femoral replacements during various activities. J Biomech 34:839–848PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Václav Báča
    • 1
  • David Kachlík
    • 1
  • Zdeněk Horák
    • 2
  • Josef Stingl
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Anatomy, Third Faculty of MedicineCharles University in PraguePragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Mechanics, Biomechanics and Mechatronics, Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringCTU in PraguePragueCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations