In order to investigate the mechanisms of collapse in osteonecrosis of the femoral head, we examined which part of the femoral head was the key point of a collapse and whether a collapsed region was associated with the size of the necrotic lesion. Using 30 consecutive surgically removed femoral heads we retrospectively analysed whole serial cut sections, specimen photographs, specimen radiographs and histological sections. In all of the femoral heads, collapse consistently involved a fracture at the lateral boundary of the necrotic lesion. Histologically, the fractures occurred at the junction between the thickened trabeculae of the reparative zone and the necrotic bone trabeculae. When the medial boundary of the necrotic lesion was located lateral to the fovea of the femoral head, 18 of 19 femoral heads collapsed in the subchondral region. By contrast, when the medial boundary was located medial to the fovea, collapse in the subchondral region was observed in four of 11 femoral heads (p = 0.0011). We found that collapse began at the lateral boundary of the necrotic lesion and that the size of the necrotic lesion seemed to contribute to its distribution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine