A study of diaphyseal nutrient foramina in human femur

Roopam Kumar Gupta, Aruna Kumari Gupta


Background: The external opening of the nutrient canal in a bone is the nutrient foramen (NF). It is clinically important to have an understanding of the location, number, direction and caliber of diaphyseal nutrient foramina in femur, especially in orthopedic surgical procedures. Here we study the diaphyseal nutrient foramina of femur in detail.

Methods: This study was conducted on 312, (154 right and 158 left), macerated specimens of adult human femur. All the important parameters were studied using osteometric board, vernier calipers and other precision measuring instruments.

Results: The mean number of nutrient foramina per femur bone was 1.64 and mean distance of NF from upper end of femur was 19.48 cms. The foraminal index obtained was 45.01%. The most common location of NF was on the medial lip of linea aspera (40.9%). 44.6% femur had only one NF, while 49.4% had two NF, 3.8% femur had three NFs and 2.24% femur had four NFs. 50.48% of NFs were of big size caliber, 26.6% were of medium size and 22.8% were of small caliber. So 77.1% NFs in femur were dominant foramina.  In all the bones studied the direction of the nutrient foramina was always directed upwards.

Conclusions: The findings of this study on nutrient foramina adds to the information from studies in the past by other authors but the importance of this study lies in the large sample size and the detailed study of caliber of the nutrient foramen for the first time.



Diaphyseal nutrient foramen, Femur, Nutrient artery, Foraminal index

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