Diversity of the proximal femur in humans: morphological variations of the head-neck junction

Radi, Nico (2014) Diversity of the proximal femur in humans: morphological variations of the head-neck junction, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biodiversità ed evoluzione, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6327.
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The proximal femur is a high-diversity region of the human skeleton, especially at the anterior junction between head and neck, where various bony morphologies have been recognized since mid nineteenth century. Classical literature on this topic is chaotic and contradictory, making almost impossible the comparison of data from different researches. Starting from an extensive bibliographic review, the first standardized method to score these traits has been created. This method allows representing both the anatomical diversity of the region already described in literature and a part of variability not considered before, giving few and univocal definitions and allowing to collect comparable data. The method has been applied to three identified and five archaeological European skeletal collections, with the aim of investigating the distribution of these features by sex, age and side, in different places and time periods. It has also been applied to 3D digital reconstructions of femurs from CT scan files of coxo-femoral joints from fresh cadavers. In addition to the osseous traits described in the standardized method, the presence and frequency of some features known as herniation pits have been scored both on bones and on CT scans. The various osseous traits of the proximal femur are present at similar frequencies in skeletal samples from different countries and different historical periods, even if with clear local differentiation. Some of the features examined show significant trends related to their distribution by gender and age. Some hypotheses are proposed about the etiology of these morphologies and their possible implication with the acquisition of bipedalism in Humans. It is therefore highlighted the possible relation of some of these traits with the development of disorders of the hip joint. Moreover, it is not recommended the use of any of these features as a specific activity-related marker.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Radi, Nico
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
hip joint, proximal femur, head-neck junction, Poirier’s facet, Allen’s fossa, femoroacetabular impingement, bipedalism
Data di discussione
8 Maggio 2014

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