Influence of evolution on cam deformity and its impact on biomechanics of the human hip joint.

Anwander, Helen; Beck, Martin; Büchler, Lorenz (2018). Influence of evolution on cam deformity and its impact on biomechanics of the human hip joint. Journal of orthopaedic research, 36(8), pp. 2071-2075. Wiley 10.1002/jor.23863

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Anatomy and biomechanics of the human hip joint are a consequence of the evolution of permanent bipedal gait. Habitat and behaviour have an impact on hip morphology and significant differences are present even within the same biological family. The forces acting upon the hip joint are mainly a function of gravitation and strength of the muscles. Acetabular and femoral anatomy ensure an inherently stable hip with a wide range of motion. The femoral head in first human ancestors with upright gait was spherical (coxa rotunda). Coxa rotunda is also seen in close human relatives (great apes) and remains the predominant anatomy of present-day humans. High impact sport during adolescence with open physis however can activate an underlying genetic predisposition for reinforcement of the femoral neck, causing an epiphyseal extension and the formation of an osseous asphericity at the antero-superior femoral neck (cam deformity). The morphology of cam deformity is similar to the aspherical hips of quadrupeds (coxa recta), with the difference that in quadrupeds the asphericity is posterior. It has been postulated that this is due to the fact that humans bear weight on the extended leg, while quadrupeds bear weight at 90-100° flexion. The asphericity alters the biomechanical properties of the joint and as it is forced into the acetabulum leading to secondary cartilage damage. It is considered a risk factor for later development of osteoarthritis of the hip. Clinically this presents as reduced range of motion, which can be an indicator for the structural deformity of the hip. © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 9999:XX-XX, 2018.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Anwander, Helen, Büchler, Lorenz


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Kathrin Aeschlimann

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2019 10:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

biomechanics cam - type femoroacetabular impingement evolution sport




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