Number and distribution of nutrient foramina within the femoral neck and their relationship to the retinacula of Weitbrecht: an anatomical study

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Abstract

Precise knowledge of the vascular supply of the femoral head is critical when contemplating surgery around the femoral head and neck junction. To determine the blood supply to the femoral neck, 2417 nutrient foramina from 76 cadaveric specimens were analyzed based on size, number, and distribution. Within the subcapital, transcervical, and basicervical regions of the femoral neck, the largest numbers of nutrient foramina were found on the superior (lateral) surface, followed by the anterior and posterior surfaces, and then the inferior (medial) surface (all p < 0.001). The diameters of most of the nutrient foramina were less than 1 mm. For the posterior and superior surfaces, the nutrient foramina in the basicervical region were significantly larger than those within the transcervical or subcapital regions (nutrient foramina >2 mm posteriorly: 23.6, 12.7, and 9.0 % in the basicervical, transcervical, and subcapital regions, respectively; superiorly: 23.7 vs. 15.4 vs. 16.8 %, respectively). In conclusion, neither the anterior nor the inferior surfaces in the basicervical, transcervical, and subcapital regions showed any significant differences in nutrient foraminal size. The areas containing densely distributed nutrient foramina were consistent with the regions covered by the retinacula of Weitbrecht.

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Mei, J., Ni, M., Wang, G., Jia, G., Liu, S., Cui, X., … Chen, R. (2017). Number and distribution of nutrient foramina within the femoral neck and their relationship to the retinacula of Weitbrecht: an anatomical study. Anatomical Science International, 92(1), 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12565-015-0319-5

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