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Müller-Gerbl, Magdalena; Putz, Reinhard; Kierse, R. (March 1993): People in different age groups show different hip-joint morphology. In: Clinical Biomechanics, Vol. 8, No. 2: pp. 66-72




It has been suggested that the distribution of the subchondral bone density may be regarded as the expression of the long-term effective stress in a joint, and previous results indicate the regularity of the distribution of subchondral bone density as a function of the passing demands made upon a joint. Computed tomography-osteoabsorptiometry has been developed to visualize the area distribution of subchondral mineralization in the major joints in vivo. The purpose of this study was to display the distribution of subchondral bone density in the acetabular cup of patients of different ages. Computer tomography data files of hip joints of 27 patients (18–89 years) were used. Density ranges, image analysis, and area presentation of the distribution of subchondral mineralization are presented. The maximal subchondral mineralization in young persons is found both in the ventral and dorsal part of the acetabular roof. In older people, however, the densest areas are most often found at the zenith of the acetabulum. These morphological results could be well explained by the experimental results of other authors who found a joint incongruity in young persons with contact areas in the ventral and dorsal part of the acetabulum. With advancing age a decrease in incongruence is found, leading to an increased stress in the dome, i.e. in the area where degenerative changes are often found.