Intramedullary nailing is the surgical method of choice for the treatment of proximal femur or femoral shaft fractures. Implant manufacturers aim to design implants fitting for the broadest possible population segment. As complete morphological data sets of long bones are not widely available, anatomical collections of historical dry bone specimens may represent abundant additional sources of morphological three-dimensional (3D) data for implant design, provided they are consistent with present populations. This study aims to investigate secular trends and age-related changes of femoral morphology of the Caucasian population over the past 800 years.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Computer graphical measurements of 3D-datasets of right and left femora derived from computed tomography (CT) scans, representative of the present Caucasian population, were compared to computer graphical measurements of 3D-datasets of right and left femora derived from CT scans of specimens from a historical medieval European bone collection.
Clinically relevant parameters of historical medieval European femora were found mostly consistent with correlative data of the present Caucasian population. Additionally, for some of the evaluated parameters, particularly anteversion, morphological differences significantly correlated to individual age and sex could be identified, whereas other parameters such as caput-collum-diaphyseal angle or radius of anterior femoral bowing were not correlated to individual age or sex.
The findings suggest that more recent historical specimen collections may be a convenient and easily accessible source of new 3D morphological data, as well as to complement existing data, to be used by researchers and manufacturers for the development of intramedullary femoral nails.