Anatomical Science International

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 58–66 | Cite as

Differences in femoral morphology among the Orientals and Caucasians: a comparative study using plain radiographs

  • Najam SiddiqiEmail author
  • Antonio Valdevit
  • E. Y. S. Chao
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to identify the differences in femoral dimensions among Caucasian and Oriental populations. A total of 268 femora were collected from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Firstly, the dimensional parameters for measuring femur were identified. These were initially measured on bone specimens to determine the methodology, followed by measuring the same parameter on plane radiographs of the same bone specimen using a board, and digitized with the aim of verifying the repeatability and reliability of the data. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, paired students t test and Pearson’s correlation analysis. The results revealed that Caucasian femora are significantly larger in maximum bone length (BL), head-neck length (HNL), lesser trochanter width and the total width of the distal epiphysis (Wdf). The Beijing femora were found to be the longest and the Japanese femora constituted the shortest bone lengths and smallest angle alpha among the Oriental populations. A strong correlation was observed between Wdf and HD, HNL, Wmc and Wlc in all the populations; however, correlation between Wdf and BL was mild. The angle alpha showed no correlation with BL. This study generated a large database of femoral geometry, which may help pharmaceutical companies to design orthopedic implants for Oriental populations.


Caucasians Dimensional parameters Femora Orientals Radiograph 



We are indebted to the following collaborators without them this research would never have been completed. Prof. Akio Inoue from department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kurume University School of Medicine, Japan, Prof. T.K. Lui, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, Prof. Young-Min Kim, and Prof. Myung-Sang Moon, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University, and Catholic University Medical College, Korea, Prof. Xian-Zheng Luo, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Beijing Friendship Hospital, China, Prof. Kerong Dai, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Second Medical University, China.

We are also thankful to Dr. Zhenyu Wang and Dr. Ai Guo from China, Dr. Jinn Lin and Gau-Tan Lin from Taiwan, Dr. Young-Koo Kang from Korea and Dr. Naoto Shiba and Dr. Kenichiro Miyazaki from Japan.

We are also grateful for Ilka Lorenzen-Schmidt, Stephen Kraker and Veronika Bonin from Germany who were summer students and devoted their time to this project.


This project was funded by grant from DePuy Company, USA.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Eckrich SG, Noble PC, Tullos HS (1994) Effect of rotation on the radiographic appearance of the femoral canal. J Arthroplasty 9:419–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fuku H (1994) Cementless hip prosthesis design: a basic study and analysis of the proximal femur in normal Japanese people. Nihon Seikeigeka Gakkai Zasshi 68:763–773Google Scholar
  3. Goodfellow J, O’Connor J (1992) The anterior cruciate ligament in knee arthroplasty. A risk-factor with unconstrained meniscal prostheses. J Clin Orthop Relat Res 276:245–252Google Scholar
  4. Hoaglund FT, Djin Low Weng (1980) Anatomy of the femoral neck and head with comparative data from Caucasians and Hong Kong Chinese. Clin Orthop Relat Res 152:10–16Google Scholar
  5. Husmann O, Rubin PJ, Leyvraz PF, De Roguin B, Argenson JN (1997) Three-dimensional morphology of the proximal femur. J Arthroplasty 12:444–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Khang G, Choi K, Kim CS, Yang JS, Bae TS (2003) A study of Korean femoral geometry. Clin Orthop Relat Res 406:116–122Google Scholar
  7. Laine HJ, Lehto MU, Moilanen T (2000) Diversity of proximal femoral medullary canal. J Arthroplasty 15:86–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lew WD, Lewis JL (1982) The effect of knee-prosthesis geometry on cruciate ligament mechanics during flexion. J Bone Joint Surg Am 64:734–739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mahaisavariya B, Sitthiseripratip K, Tongdee T, Bohez EL, Vander Stolen J, Oris P (2002) Morphological study of the proximal femur: a new method of geometrical assessment using 3-dimensional reverse engineering. Med Eng Phys 24:617–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mensch JS, Amstutz HC (1975) Knee morphology as a guide to knee replacement. Clin Orthop 112:231–241Google Scholar
  11. Miura T, Matsumoto T, Nishino M, Kaneuji ATK (1998) A new technique for morphologic measurement of the femur. Its application for Japanese patients with osteoarthrosis of the hip. Bull Hosp Jt Dis 57:202–207Google Scholar
  12. Noble PC, Box GG, Kamaric E, Fink MJ, Alexander JW, Tullos HS (1995) The effect of aging on the shape of the proximal femur. Clin Orthop Relat Res 316:31–44
  13. Pujol A, Rissech C, Ventura J, Badosa J, Turbón D (2014) Ontogeny of the female femur. Geometric morphometric analysis applied on current living individuals of a Spanish population. J Anatom 225:346–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pujol A, Rissech C, Ventura J, Turbón D (2016) Ontogeny of the male femur: geometric morphometric analysis applied to a contemporary spanish population. Am J Phys Anthropol 159:146–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rawal BR, Ribeiro R, Malhotra R, Bhatnagar N (2012) Anthropometric measurements to design best-fit femoral stem for the Indian population. Indian J Orthop 46:46–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rubin PJ, Leyvraz PF, Heegaard JH (1989) Radiologic changes of anatomic parameters of the proximal femur as a function of its position in rotation. Rev Chir Orthop Reparatrice Appar Mot 75:209–215Google Scholar
  17. Siddiqi N (2013) Comparison of osteometric femoral dimensions among the South Africans of different ethnic groups and South African whites. Egypt J Forensic Sci 3:8–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wright SJ, Boymans TA, Grimm B, Miles AW, Kessler O (2014) Strong correlation between the morphology of the proximal femur and the geometry of the distal femoral trochlea. 22:2900–2910Google Scholar
  19. Yang Z, Jian W, Li ZH, Jun X, Liang Z, Ge Y, Shi ZJ (2014) The geometry of the bone structure associated with total hip arthroplasty PLoS One 9(3):e91058Google Scholar
  20. Yeung Y, Chiu KY, Yau WP, Tang WM, Cheung WY, Ng TP (2006) Assessment of the proximal femoral morphology using plain radiograph—can it predict the bone quality? J Arthroplasty 21:508–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Yoshioka Y, Sui D, Cooke TD (1987) The anatomy and functional axes of the femur. J Bone Joint Surg Am 69:873–880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zhang H, Hu YQ, Zhang ZL (2011) Age trends for hip geometry in Chinese men and women and the association with femoral neck fracture. 22:2513–2522Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Najam Siddiqi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Antonio Valdevit
    • 1
    • 3
  • E. Y. S. Chao
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Biomechanics Laboratory, School of MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnatomyNational University of Science and Technology, College of Medicine and Health SciencesSoharSultanate of Oman
  3. 3.SEA LimitedColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Southern CaliforniaUSA

Personalised recommendations