International Journal of Current Research and Review (IJCRR)

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IJCRR - vol 06 issue 07, April

Pages: 58-64

Date of Publication: 30-Nov--0001

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Author: Sayee Rajangam, Vidhya R, Siva Charan, Safeer Khan, Flossie Jayakaran

Category: Healthcare

Abstract:Objectives: The present study was undertaken, to report the subjectively observed variations in the presence and / or prominence of features in the long bones of limbs. Material and Method: The observed features multiplied with the total number of bones were: humerus 576(16x36); radius 240(8x30); ulna 270(9x30); femur 1008(16x63); tibia 380(10x38), fibula 152(4x38). The features were graded for their presence or prominence and analyzed for their combined/ individual total; total between and within the right and left sides. Results: The combined total of the presence and prominence of the features were greater for the right femur (576/1008, 57.1%). The individual total showed that the presence of features was greater in tibia (259/380, 68.2%) and prominence of features in ulna (164/270, 60.8%). Between sides, the prominence of the features was greater for right femur (355/603, 59%). Within the sides, the prominence of the features was high for ulna (82/126, 65%). X2 value indicated that the prominence of the features for femur could be of value in side determination. The observations on the prominence of individual features in long bones of the limbs showed a high percentage value for the nutrient foramen in femur (56/63, 88.9%). Conclusion: From the present study, it is seen, that features could have become prominent due to genetic and/or environmental factors such as nutrition and biomechanics during the process of the formation of the features.

Keywords: features, humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula

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The long bones of the upper limb are the humerus, radius and ulna and that of the lower limb are the femur, tibia and fibula. Being long bones, they possess a shaft, body, upper or proximal and lower or distal ends. The two ends have articular areas and bony projections. The articular areas are considered under the category of ‘pressure epiphysis’ and the bony projections (tubercles, trochanters) are included under the category of ‘traction epiphyses’. The projections, lines and facets of long bones are molded by the attachments of muscles, tendons, ligaments and the axis and planes of movements. From standard text books in Anatomy, it is seen that the side to which the bone belongs could be determined by the presence of well-defined features on the bones.1,2 In spite of the presence of individual and racial variations in shape and prominence, earlier studies have shown that these well-defined structures in long bones, contribute either subjectively or objectively to sex determination.3 During the teaching of osteology in Anatomy, the well-defined features of long bones are described and explained as the general and specific features. At that time, the teaching faculty have observed and felt the prominence or lack of it in some of those features. Hence, the present study was undertaken, to subjectively report the observed variations in the features of the long bones of the upper and lower limbs, both for their presence and / or prominence.


Long limb bones that are used for teaching and learning Osteology at the International Medical School, Bangalore, were sorted according to their side. The total numbers of the selected bony features were multiplied with the total number of bones and it was: humerus 576 (16x36); radius 240 (8x30); ulna 270 (9x30); femur 1008 (16x63); tibia 380 (10x38), and fibula 152 (4x38). The features were graded as single + for their presence and double ++ for their prominence. The features are listed in Appendix 1. The statistical analysis applied to the obtained values was percentage occurrence and the X2 test.


The obtained values from the bones were analyzed under 6 categories for the ‘presence and prominence’ of the features:1) the combined total of the presence and prominence; 2) the individual total of the presence and prominence; 3 and 4) the total of the presence or prominence for the right and left sides; 5 and 6) the total of the presence and or prominence within the right and left sides. 


Early reports in literature studied and reported sex differences in the skeleton and its various components based on the morphological features and morphometry.2 The general and specific features of the long bones of the limbs could become prominent especially if they belong to the category of traction or pressure epiphysis. Of course, it depends on the attachments, tension and the pull of the muscles / tendons / ligaments of the joints and its movements; weight transmission as well the genetic and / or environmental factors affecting the process of ossification. In the present study, features were selected randomly for their presence and / or prominence. Present study: Interpretations i) Among the bones, the combined total features have occurred more on the left side ii) Between presence and prominence of features, the total value of prominent features were greater for ulna and femur iii) When considered separately between the sides, prominent features were greater on the right femur iv) Within the same side, the value of the prominent features was greater in the right ulna v) From the study on the prominence of the individual features, a high percentage was seen for the nutrient foramen in femur and this indeed is a surprising finding. vi) In their presence and/or prominence, the features seemed to contribute to the determination of side in any given fragment of these bones. vii) The prominence of the features in the right femur may indicate that weight transmission is preferentially more on the right side in the standing and sitting positions of the body; while in the right as well as in the left ulna, the movements may be more bilateral (pronation and supination). The observations of the present study could not be discussed further in view of the absence of any published literature relevant to this article / research.


It may be concluded that the present study has reported the subjectively observed variations in the features of long bones of the limbs, both for their presence and / or prominence. It was thought, that in spite of the features’ presence and / or prominence and also being subjective, still they could become a study of academic interest. The variations in features could be because of the biomechanics and the phenomenon of the ossification process at the primary (diaphysis) and secondary (epiphysis) centres.




1. Standring S. Gray’s Anatomy. The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 40th edition. London; Churchill Livingstone Elsevier: 2008.

2. Krogman WM. The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine. Illinois; Charles C Thomas Pub Ltd: 1969.

3. Kadasne DK. Kadasne’s Text book of Anatomy (Clinically Oriented). Volume1. Upper and Lower Extremities. Delhi; JAYPEE Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd: 2009.