Linear and angular measurements were made on thirty-two cadaveric femora with respect to the mechanical (functional) axes of the bone. The long axis was defined as a line from the center of the femoral head to the anterolateral attachment of the posterior cruciate ligament. The transverse axis was defined as a line through the posterior cruciate ligament parallel to the line connecting each epicondyle. The condylar width, the length of each interepicondylar line, correlated well with depth, but the projections of the condyles from the transverse plane revealed significant variations from specimen to specimen. Considerable variation also was found between femora in terms of angular dimensions (that is, the angle of anteversion and the neck-shaft angle proximally, and the valgus angle of the femoral shaft distally). Considerable interspecimen variation in the angles between the transcondylar plane and the femoral center, in accord with the valgus angle of the femoral shaft distally, was also noted. The mean transcondylar valgus angle (described as the tangent of the condyles to the perpendicular of the long axis) was 3.8 degrees. In contrast, little variation among specimens was noted for the angle made by the shaft and the long axis.
Copyright 1987 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated