Friday, April 2, 2010

Trabecular Bars of the Femur

Trabecular bars (also known as bone bars) are struts of normal trabecular bone crossing the marrow space at right angles to the long axis of the shaft. They are most commonly seen in the intertrochanteric region of the femur and the proximal tibial metadiaphyses.

They can give the appearance of a calcified chondroid matrix on frontal radiographs and are often misdiagnosed as representing an enchondroma.

The lateral radiograph of the femur is key. It reveals trabecular bars perpendicular to the long axis of the bone, seen en face on the frontal view. Trabecular bars are more apparent in patients with osteoporosis.


  • Keats
  • Manaster BJ. From the RSNA Refresher Courses. Radiological Society of North America. Adult chronic hip pain: radiographic evaluation. Radiographics. 2000 Oct;20 Spec No:S3-S25.
  • Pitt MJ, Morgan SL, Lopez-Ben R, Steelman RE, Nunnally N, Burroughs L, Fineberg N. Association of the presence of bone bars on radiographs and low bone mineral density. Skeletal Radiol. 2011 Jul;40(7):905-11.

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