Surgically Relevant Bony and Soft Tissue Anatomy of the Proximal Femur Academic Article uri icon


  • Hip endoscopy facilitates the treatment of extra-articular disorders of the proximal femur. Unfortunately, current knowledge of proximal femur anatomy is limited to qualitative descriptions and lacks surgically relevant landmarks.To provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis of proximal femur anatomy in reference to surgically relevant bony landmarks.Descriptive laboratory study.Fourteen cadaveric hemipelvises were dissected. A coordinate measuring device measured dimensions and interrelationships of the gluteal muscles, hip external rotators, pectineus, iliopsoas, and joint capsule in reference to osseous landmarks.The vastus tubercle, superomedial border of the greater trochanter, and femoral head-neck junction were distinct and reliable osseous landmarks. The anteroinferior tip of the vastus tubercle was 17.1 mm (95% CI: 14.5, 19.8 mm) anteroinferior to the center of the gluteus medius lateral insertional footprint and was 22.9 mm (95% CI: 20.1, 25.7 mm) inferolateral to the center of the gluteus minimus insertional footprint. The insertions of the piriformis, conjoint tendon of the hip (superior gemellus, obturator internus, and inferior gemellus), and obturator externus were identified relative to the superomedial border of the greater trochanter. The relationship of the aforementioned footprints were 49% (95% CI: 43%, 54%), 42% (95% CI: 33%, 50%), and 64% (95% CI: 59%, 69%) from the anterior (0%) to posterior (100%) margins of the superomedial border of the greater trochanter, respectively. The hip joint capsule attached distally on the proximal femur 18.2 mm (95% CI: 14.2, 22.2 mm) from the head-neck junction medially on average.The vastus tubercle, superomedial border of the greater trochanter, and the femoral head-neck junction were reliable osseous landmarks for the identification of the tendinous and hip capsular insertions on the proximal femur. Knowledge of the interrelationships between these structures is essential for endoscopic navigation and anatomic surgical repair and reconstruction.The qualitative and quantitative clinically relevant anatomic data presented here will aid in the diagnosis of proximal femur pathology and will provide a template for anatomic repair or reconstruction.


  • Philippon, Marc J
  • Michalski, Max P
  • Campbell, Kevin J
  • Goldsmith, Mary T
  • Devitt, Brian M
  • Wijdicks, Coen A
  • LaPrade, Robert F

publication date

  • 2014