Site display: Normal | Text Only

My Collection | About Us | Teachers

Find objects

Select from more than one or two options below:

Objects search

Can't find what you're looking for? Try the search below.


A titanium femur bone has been inserted into a human tibia (shin bone) and pelvis to illustrate a total femur replacement of the left leg. Total femur replacements are rare and are usually carried out on patients recovering from bone cancer. It is a difficult surgical procedure as the muscles have to be detached from the bone and then re-attached to the prosthesis. After surgery, patients require extensive periods of physiotherapy. Titanium is a strong but lightweight material and inert, so it is not easily rejected by the body’s immune system. Made from polyethylene (a plastic), the artificial acetabular cup stabilises the socket of the hip joint. The first total femur replacement was performed in 1952. After thirty years the patient could walk with the aid of a stick but still required further surgery.

Object number:


Related Themes and Topics

Related Objects

There are 538 related objects. View all related objects


Related links

Techniques and Technologies:


Glossary: human remains

term created as part of the NMSI human remains policy (from April 2007); Other terms used are 'blood' and 'human hair'

Glossary: artificial acetabular cup

prosthetic used to fit artifical femurs into the pelvis

Glossary: orthopaedics

The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and restoration of the muscular and skeletal systems in the body.

Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: femur

The thigh bone. It is the longest bone in the human body.

Glossary: cancer

Any cancerous tumour. It arises from the abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells which then invade and destroy the surrounding tissues. Cancer cells spread and can form secondary tumours some distance from the original.

Glossary: physiotherapy

Exercise helpful to those with physical illness, for example stroke, or back injuries. A physical therapist is a specialist trained in using exercise and physical activities to condition and improve muscles.

Glossary: acetabulum

The cup-shaped cavity at the base of the hip bone into which the ball-shaped head of the femur fits.

Glossary: artificial femur

A complete or partial replacement of the bone situated between the pelvis and knee. It is the largest and strongest bone in the body.