The Shape of the Proximal Femur Influences Acetabular Wear Patterns Over Time
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Femoroacetabular impingement has been proposed as a cause of early osteoarthritis, but it is not known how this develops over time or whether the shape of the proximal femur influences this risk.
(1) Which areas of the acetabulum are worn more frequently by individuals with a cam deformity of the proximal femur? (2) Do observed acetabular wear patterns differ based on the etiology of the cam deformity? (3) Do wear patterns of individuals with a cam deformity differ based on an individual’s age?
We examined 645 corresponding femora and acetabuli from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection and determined the offset and alpha angle using photographs; 370 specimens met inclusion criteria and were examined for signs of wear and the locations of wear were recorded. Specimens were separated into eight subgroups based on age either younger than 40 years or older than 60 years, alpha angle greater or less than 55°, and degree of anterior head-neck offset. We compared the prevalence of wear between groups in each location.
Individuals with abnormal geometry of the proximal femur demonstrated different wear patterns from individuals with normal geometry. There were few differences in wear patterns identified based on the etiology of the femoral deformity. Abnormal femoral geometry was associated with more frequent wear primarily at the anterosuperior acetabulum for individuals younger than 40 years of age and globally for individuals older than 60 years of age.
Femoral geometry appears to influence the pattern of acetabular wear occurring over time.
We thank Lyman Jellema and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for their assistance in the completion of this study. We acknowledge the contributions of Sean Waldron MD, for making femoral measurements. We also recognize our artist, Matt Streit (www.mattstreit.com), for his contributions to the article.
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