Induction of Changes Over time in the Rat Proximal Femur Following Ovariectomy: A Model with Clinical Implications


  • Wang Jianwei Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou
  • Xu Shaowen Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Lab of Critical Care Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou
  • Yang Disheng Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Lab of Orthopaedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Medical School, Zhejiang University
  • L V Rongkun Lab of Material Strength, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou



The menopause-related expansion of the proximal femoral marrow cavity is thought to have implications  for the long-term cohesion of hip prostheses. This theory would be further strengthened if there was evidence  to show that the expansion of the proximal femur marrow cavity takes place after the occurrence of  a femoral neck fracture, which, it is often recommended, should be fixed with a hip prosthesis. But till now,  the temporal relationship between those two osteoporotic-related changes has not been checked carefully.  The objective of the current study was to examine the temporal relationship between the marrow cavity  expansion of the proximal femur and the biomechanical deterioration of the femoral neck in a rat model.  To do so, a cross-sectional study with multiple time points was carried out on 6-month old Sprague-Dawley  rats, which were ovariectomized or sham-operated (as controls). The biomechanical properties of the femur  neck and geometrical parameters of the femur shaft were evaluated at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21 weeks  postoperatively, with special reference to the timescale of the observed changes. We found that the maximum  load of the femoral neck in ovariectomized rats could bear decreased significantly compared, to that  of controls, at 9 weeks postoperatively (p=0.03), while the marrow cavity of the proximal femur in ovariectomized  rats turned out to be significantly enlarged at 15 weeks postoperatively (p=0.04). Conclusion: Our  result demonstrated that the osteoporosis-related marrow-enlarged posterior led to the collapse of femoral  neck strength. If the change in postmenopausal women is analogous to that in ovariectomized rats, the  menopause-related marrow cavity expansion would be a risk factor for the longevity of hip prostheses. 


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How to Cite

Jianwei, W., Shaowen, X., Disheng, Y., & Rongkun, L. V. (2007). Induction of Changes Over time in the Rat Proximal Femur Following Ovariectomy: A Model with Clinical Implications. Scandinavian Journal of Laboratory Animal Science, 34(1), 35–41.