For normal bone, aging has been associated with a decrease of both density and failure strength, and with the development of pathologies such as osteoporosis. Conversely, it has been reported that another common disease, osteoarthritis, may alter these age-related changes in cancellous bone, suggesting that it may have a protective role against osteoporosis and the correspondent fracture risk. It was reported that in the principal compressive region of the femoral head in osteoarthritis the bone density does not depend on age. However, it is not clear if this independence on age of the cancellous bone density corresponds also to a reduced dependence on age of the strength to failure. The present work examined cancellous bone from the principal compressive region of the femoral head of 37 patients having severe osteoarthritis. The aim was (1) to investigate the dependence on age of both the structural parameters and the ultimate stress and (2) to investigate the relationships between the ultimate stress and the structural parameters. Using X-ray microcomputed tomography, three-dimensional structural parameters, such as bone volume fraction, direct trabecular thickness and structure model index were calculated. Then the specimens were compressed to failure to determine the ultimate stress. It was found that none of the investigated structural parameters did depend on age, and also the ultimate stress did not depend on age (p > 0.05 for all regressions on age). In addition, the ultimate stress was significantly correlated with the structural parameters, primary with the minimum bone volume fraction and the average bone volume fraction (R2 = 0.95 and R2 = 0.84, respectively). These findings show that severe osteoarthritis or a related factor may change the age dependences of both the structural parameters and the mechanical properties usually reported for normal cancellous bone. These results suggest for this pathology to have a protective role against the age-related decrease in density, the age-related deterioration of the microarchitecture and the age-related decrease of the failure strength for the cancellous bone in the principal compressive region of the human femoral head.
- Age variation
- Cancellous bone microarchitecture
- MicroCT scanning
ASJC Scopus subject areas