Characterization of proximal femoral anatomy in the skeletally-immature patient

B. G. Beutel, S. J. Girdler, J. A. Collins, N. Y. Otsuka, A. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose The morphology of the proximal femur has been extensively studied in the adult population. However, no literature providing a comprehensive evaluation of the anatomy in paediatric patients exists. The current study aims to characterize such anatomy in skeletally-immature patients, examine potential differences between genders, and analyze how these anatomical parameters change with age. Methods Cadaveric femurs from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection were examined. Specimens with open physes and no skeletal disease or deformity were included for analysis. Age and gender were recorded for each specimen. Each femur was photographed in standardized modified axial and anteroposterior views. In all, 14 proximal femoral anatomical parameters were measured from these photographs. Comparisons between genders and age were calculated. Results A total of 43 femurs from ages four to 17 years met inclusion criteria. The majority were female (56%); no difference existed in age between genders (p = 0.62). The specimens had a neutral mean neck-shaft angle (130.7º) and anteversion (12.8º), and the sphericity of the ossified femoral heads was symmetrical. Male specimens had significantly higher alpha angles (p = 0.01), posterior offset (p = 0.02), neck width (p = 0.04) and head-neck length ratio (p = 0.02) values than female specimens. Strong positive correlations exist between length/size parameters and age, while negligible correlations were noted for angular measurements. Conclusions This study establishes reference values for a comprehensive list of anatomical parameters for the skeletally-immature ossified proximal femur. It highlights gender differences in morphology and demonstrates that angular characteristics remain relatively stable while length parameters generally increase with age. Level of Evidence: Level III Diagnostic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Children's Orthopaedics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Anatomical morphology
  • Osteology
  • Paediatric femur
  • Proximal femoral anatomy
  • Skeletally-immature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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