Is clinical measurement of anatomic axis of the femur adequa
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Background and purpose — The accuracy of using clinical measurement from the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) to the center of the knee to determine an anatomic axis of the femur has rarely been studied. A radiographic technique with a full-length standing scanogram (FLSS) was used to assess the adequacy of the clinical measurement.

Patients and methods — 100 consecutive young adult patients (mean age 34 (20–40) years) with chronic unilateral lower extremity injuries were studied. The pelvis and intact contralateral lower extremity images in the FLSS were selected for study. The angles between the tibial axis and the femoral shaft anatomic axis (S-AA), the piriformis anatomic axis (P-AA), the clinical anatomic axis (C-AA), and the mechanical axis (MA) were compared between sexes.

Results — Only the S-AA and C-AA angles were statistically significantly different in the 100 patients (3.6° vs. 2.8°; p = 0.03). There was a strong correlation between S-AA, P-AA, and C-AA angles (r > 0.9). The average intersecting angle between MA and S-AA in the femur in the 100 patients was 5.5°, and it was 4.8° between MA and C-AA.

Interpretation — Clinical measurement of an anatomic axis from the ASIS to the center of the knee may be an adequate and acceptable method to determine lower extremity alignment. The optimal inlet for antegrade femoral intramedullary nailing may be the lateral edge of the piriformis fossa.

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