Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

John Williams

Committee Member

Amy Curry

Committee Member

Roan Esra


In young growing vertebrates, the head of the femur is attached to the neck by a cartilaginous joint (femoral capital epiphyseal plate) comprised of growth cartilage with an interdigitating arrangement of undulations of various sizes called mammillary processes and a perichondrium. Occasionally the femoral head and the neck separate, a condition known as slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). It has been suggested that mammillary processes function to reduce the likelihood of such a slip (SCFE). After removing soft tissues from the proximal ends of eight mongrel pig femurs (nine days preterm to 30 months), the exposed growth plate surfaces on the epiphyseal and metaphyseal sides of the joint were scanned with a high-resolution laser scanner. The mammillary processes of the capital femoral growth plate were analyzed using surface roughness pmeasures. In the youngest specimens, the largest mammillary process, the epiphyseal tubercle, was located in the cranio-caudal region. Towards the end of growth, it was found in the cranio-lateral region. This differed from the posterolateral location in the human femoral capital epiphyseal plate at age of puberty, but the general morphology of the tubercle was similar. A radial pattern of smaller peripheral mammillary processes froming radial ridges emerged as a function of age and may contribute to the joint stability and provide resistance to torsion. Understanding the development of this joint may provide insight into the etiology of SCFE


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.