Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Knee. 2011 Mar;18(2):98-103. doi: 10.1016/j.knee.2010.02.001. Epub 2010 Feb 25.

Comparative anatomical measurements of osseous structures in the ovine and human knee.

Author information

Department of Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Leipzig, Liebigstr. 20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


The ovine stifle has been increasingly used as a large animal model for the human knee. Still, comparative anatomical measurements of the knee in sheep and humans are missing. Thus, the purpose of this study was to describe and measure the osseous anatomy of the ovine stifle in comparison to the human knee. Twenty-four stifles of skeletal-mature merino-sheep and 24 human cadaver knees were obtained and distances between selected anatomical structures of the distal femur, the proximal tibia, and the patella were measured digitally and documented. Based on these, intercondylar ratio, tibial aspect ratio, patella aspect ratio and the cortical index were calculated. Regarding epicondylar width, lateral condylar width, medial condylar width and the tibial dimensions, the ovine stifle can be considered as a human knee scaled down by one third. However, sheep have a smaller trochlear width and a narrower femoral intercondylar notch than humans resulting in lower relative values for intercondylar width and intercondylar height. The distal femur's cortical index is the same in both species. In contrast, sheep have a massive bone stock below their tibial plateau and a proximal tibial shaft with remarkably thick cortical bone. The ovine stifle can be regarded as a useful model for the human knee. However, future studies should consider the differences in the femoral intercondylar notch width, the patellofemoral joint's biomechanics and the proximal tibia's cortical bone stock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center