

ORIGINAL ARTICLE 

Year : 2020  Volume
: 9
 Issue : 4  Page : 165168 

A Morphometric Study Correlating Length of Femur with Fragments of its Shaft
RS Suja^{1}, T Swapna^{1}, Aswathy Maria Oommen^{1}, LS Latha Sreedhar^{2}
^{1} Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India ^{2} Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Date of Submission  06Aug2020 
Date of Decision  27Oct2020 
Date of Acceptance  22Nov2020 
Date of Web Publication  7Dec2020 
Correspondence Address: Aswathy Maria Oommen Ivelil, Kamal Nagar, Nalanchira P O, Thiruvananthapuram  695 015, Kerala India
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
DOI: 10.4103/NJCA.NJCA_45_20
Background: Remains of bones can be studied to determine race, sex and stature of unidentified human bodies. Length of the femur correlates with measurements at different landmarks. Equations can be constructed to assess total femoral length (TFL), from which stature of the person to whom it belongs could be determined. The present study has been carried out to measure the transverse and antero posterior diameter of the shaft of the femur at three different levels in order to generate linear regression equations to estimate the total femoral length (TFL), in an Indian population. Methods: Length of 121 femora comprising of right (54) and left (67) sides were measured. Anteroposterior and transverse diameters of the femoral shaft, at three sites (10 cm, 20 cm and 30 cm distal to the highest point on the femoral head) were measured. The data were analyzed statistically and linear regression equations were generated to calculate the TFL from measurements of the shaft. Results: Five of the six parameters demonstrated a positive correlation with length of femur. These were used for generating regression equations, using which femoral length was calculated. Conclusions: The present study provides precise osteometric data (regression equations) helpful in the reconstruction of TFL from fragments of its shaft, in the Indian population.
Keywords: Femur, reconstruction, regression formula, shaft, stature
How to cite this article: Suja R S, Swapna T, Oommen AM, Latha Sreedhar L S. A Morphometric Study Correlating Length of Femur with Fragments of its Shaft. Natl J Clin Anat 2020;9:1658 
How to cite this URL: Suja R S, Swapna T, Oommen AM, Latha Sreedhar L S. A Morphometric Study Correlating Length of Femur with Fragments of its Shaft. Natl J Clin Anat [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 16];9:1658. Available from: http://www.njca.info/text.asp?2020/9/4/165/302567 
Introduction   
Skeletal remains, recovered from sites of accidents and/or crime, have been used from as early as 1800 to reconstruct stature. Forensic anthropologists examine incomplete human skeletons and fragments of bone from dismembered body parts for identifying an individual. Estimation of stature plays an important role in the identification of a person.
Inter tubercular sulcus of humerus,^{[1]} proximal end of femur,^{[2]} distal end of radius,^{[3]} and segments of ulna^{[4]} have been studied to assess the length of the respective long bones. Stature has been reconstructed using regression formulae, from the length of long bones.^{[5],[6]} Studies have shown that stature reconstruction from long bones of the body is most appropriate. There is a direct correlation between the length of femur or tibia and the height of an individual, as they are weight bearing bones. Of the two, femur would be the better choice.^{[7]} Hence reconstruction of the length of femur from fragments of the bone is an essential step in the estimation of stature in forensic investigations.^{[8]}
Age, sex and race are also factors that contribute to the length of bones and therefore stature of an individual.^{[7],[9],[10]} Studies have also shown that there is a difference in the lengths of the right and left side bones, but the difference is statistically insignificant.^{[9],[11],[12]} All such parameters must be considered and specific formulae computed while estimating the total length of a bone.
The present study has been carried out to measure the transverse and antero posterior diameter of the shaft of the femur at three different levels in order to generate linear regression equations to estimate the total femoral length (TFL), in an Indian population. It is assumed that stature can be calculated from the TFL thus obtained.
Materials and Methods   
This descriptive study was conducted over a period of 3 years, after receiving permission from Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC. No 11 March 2017/MCT dated 03 October 2017). 121 fully ossified adult femora (Right (54); Left (67)) were examined and measured. Intact femora without fractures or deformities were included in the study. The TFL, from the highest point on head of femur to the lowest point on the articular surface of condyles, was measured with an osteometric board. Three lines were marked on the shaft of the femur as a, b, c at 10 cm, 20 cm and 30 cm distal to the highest point on the femoral head. Transverse and antero posterior diameters at these points were measured using the techniques recommended by Abledu et al.^{[8]} The measured parameters are described in [Table 1]. The diameters of the shaft of femur were measured using Vernier callipers [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. Quantitative variables such as minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation were computed. Student’s t test was done for identifying any difference between right and left. Pearson correlation was used to analyze the relationship between two quantitative variables. With the data (significant [P < 0.001] bony markers), univariate and multivariate regression equations were derived using regression analysis, to construct the TFL. R software (R version 3.3 April 2016) was utilized for data analysis.  Figure 1: Measurement of transverse diameter (a_{1}) of femoral shaft at point “a,” 10 cm distal to the highest point on femoral head
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 Figure 2: Measurement of anteroposterior diameter (a_{2}) of femoral shaft at point “a,” 10 cm distal to the highest point on femoral head
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Results   
The TFL ranged from 31.5 to 54 cm (mean length 41.9 ± 3.4 cm) [Table 2], which was very close to the study of Shroff et al.,^{[13]} [Table 3].  Table 3: Comparison of femoral length of the present study and other studies
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Student’s t test data revealed that there was no significant variation in the measurements of shaft of femur of the right and left sides. Descriptive statistics of the parameters measured at the three different points on the shaft of femur are tabulated in [Table 2]. The transverse and antero posterior diameters were the greatest at point c. The transverse diameter was least at point b, whereas the antero posterior diameter at point a was the least. The correlation of each parameter (bony marker) to TFL was ascertained. A positive correlation (P < 0.001) was observed in five, of the six parameters [Table 4]. A simple regression equation, y = a + bx was derived (where “y” is TFL; “x” is the measured parameter; “a” is the constant and “b” is the regression coefficient) to calculate the TFL. Using univariate and multivariate analysis, equations to estimate TFL were derived from all the measured parameters (a_{1}, a_{2}, b_{1}, b_{2}, c_{1} and c_{2}) [Table 5]. It was concluded on conducting univariate analysis that a_{2} was the single best parameter to calculate TFL. A multivariate analysis proved that a_{1} and a_{2} were the best parameters to determine TFL.  Table 4: Correlation of length of femur and parameters measured from shaft fragments by univariate analysis
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 Table 5: Correlation of length of femur and parameters measured from shaft fragments by multivariate analysis
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Discussion   
Height, sex, age and ethnicity of an unknown person can be gauged from skeletal remains. Forensic anthropologists often find it challenging to identify a person with only a few fragmentary skeletal remains in hand. Using specific formulae the length of a long bone is calculated from its fragments. Statural formulae are then employed to estimate stature from the calculated length of the bone. Lengths of long bones have been estimated from “bony markers” of humerus,^{[1]} femur,^{[2]} radius^{[3]} and ulna.^{[4]} Mysorekar et al.^{[18]} analyzed 351 ulnae and derived simple and multiple regression equations (for stature), separately for both sexes, from upper and lower segments of ulna. A similar study was also conducted on the upper end of the ulna by Badkur and Nath in an Indian population.^{[19]} Heights of the radial facet, and ulnar tuberosity and breadth of olecranon process were measured to determine the length of ulna.^{[19]}
In their study on “reconstruction of stature from long bones,”^{[20]} Dupertuis and Hadden testified that long bones of lower extremity gave a better estimate of height when compared to bones of upper extremity.^{[20]} Femur along with tibia, or each on its own, are the most important in estimating height.^{[20]} The use of bones of the distal extremity was also endorsed by Trotter and Glesser for the estimation of stature. They are more useful because they carry the weight of the body.^{[6]}
Studies similar to the present study have been conducted by many authors. Solan and Kulkarni estimated length of femur in a population from South India.^{[14]} Standard regression formulae to calculate the femoral length were derived from measurements obtained from 5 femoral segments.^{[14]} Parmar et al., in their study, observed the strongest correlation between femoral length and distance measured from the “apex of greater trochanter to the lower margin of lesser trochanter” (left side) and “adductor tubercle to the lowermost point on articular margin of medial condyle” (right side), when compared to other parameters measured.^{[21]} Singh et al. estimated femoral length formulating a regression equation from length of the inter trochanteric crest.^{[22]} Gehring and Graw also estimated femoral length from the proximal fragment.^{[23]} In another study, Khanal et al. found a linear relationship between femur length and “intertrochanteric crest length, neck circumference, length and depth of medial and lateral femoral condyles and epicondylar breadth.”^{[24]} Femoral length was estimated from sub trochanteric transverse and antero posterior diameters and transverse and vertical diameters of the femoral head, by Abledu et al.^{[8]}
It was observed from the present study that all the parameters except c_{1} had a positive correlation with the TFL (P < 0.001). Transverse diameter, measured at point a on the shaft (a_{1}) showed maximum correlation by univariate analysis. Transverse and antero posterior diameters, measured at point a on the shaft of femur (a_{1} and a_{2}), showed maximum correlation by multivariate analysis.
Stature can be predicted from the total length of a long bone. Calculation of TFL from a significant marker of a fragment of the bone using values of regression co efficient of that marker forms an intermediate step in the process. Although race, age, sex have to be considered while calculating stature, employing statistically significant regression formulae (of a significant marker), is a fairly good and accurate method for establishing the height of an individual. Regression equations, for TFL, generated in the present study can be used to estimate stature (of an Indian population) and can be appropriately utilized by both anthropologists and forensic science experts.
Conclusion   
The present study provides precise osteometric data (regression equations) helpful in the reconstruction of TFL from fragments of its shaft, in the Indian population. These values can help in predicting the stature of an individual. The application of these findings will prove to be useful in physical and forensic anthropology.
Financial support and sponsorship
Nil.
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]
[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]
