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J Orthop Res. 2012 May;30(5):686-92. doi: 10.1002/jor.21575. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Gender and condylar differences in distal femur morphometry clarified by automated computer analyses.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


We elucidated the gender and condylar effects on distal femur morphology (DFM) while evaluating a newly developed computational framework that enables fully automated analyses of DFM in an objectively defined sagittal plane. Ninety high-resolution CT-acquired distal femur models from 51 males and 39 females were analyzed. The models were accurately characterized (mean least-squares fitting residual <0.16 mm), and re-oriented to a unified sagittal plane; three morphometric measures were extracted from each model: the semi-major (a) and semi-minor (b) axis lengths of the best-fitted ellipse, and the radius (r) of the smallest flexion facet-a circle with the smallest radius best-fitted to the posterior articulating surface. Statistical analyses employing nonparametric repeated-measures ANOVA found: no significance difference between condyles or between limbs in any of the morphometric measures; significant gender effects on a, b, and r, but no gender effect on the aspect ratio (a/b). An inspection of statistical distributions of medial-lateral condyle size differences also revealed a gender difference. The findings promote a better understanding of DFM and its relation to knee mechanics and have implications on computer-aided surgery of the knee and gender-specific implant design.

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