Spiral line of the Femur

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Villarroel, M.; Villagrán, F.; Olave, E. & Riveros, A.


The Linea aspera located on the posterior margin of the femur diaphysis is considered a tomographic, imaging and anthropological reference. To the proximal epiphysis, this line is divided in several divergent lines. Of these, the lateral branch gives insertion to the gluteus maximus muscle (Tuberositas glutea), while the middle branch gives insertion to the pectineal muscle (pectinea line). Both structures are found in Terminologia Anatomica (TA), however the medial branch known as the Spiral Line, where the vastus medial muscle (VM) originates, is not found in TA. We aimed to collect, analyze and verify the level of use of the term Spiral line in terminologies, anatomy texts and scientific publications. Nomina Anatomica from Basilea (BNA), Paris Nomina Anatomica (PNA) y Terminologia anatomica FCAT (2001) and FIPAT (2011) were reviewed. In addition, 45 books and 20 articles in English and Spanish were also selected, in order to analyze text, tables and images of the femur and/or VM. Tables were made to summarize the information obtained. The term is not mentioned in payrolls or terminologies, however in the English column of TA, this term is used as a synonym for Linea pectinea. In some anatomical texts and scientific articles it is observed that the term spiral line is used in relation to the description of the femur and / or the origin of the vast medial. The use of the term in anatomy texts and scientific publications, for descriptive, anthropological and clinical purposes, added to the fact that within the principles of Anatomical Terminology Latin is the official language and should be considered a single name per term, in order to avoid confusion, they base the need to incorporate the term spiral line (Linea spiralis) into TA.

KEY WORDS: Anatomy; Femur; Enthesis; Spiral line; Terminologia Anatomica.

How to cite this article

VILLARROEL, M.; VILLAGRÁN, F.; OLAVE, E. & RIVEROS, A. Spiral line of the fémur. Int. J. Morphol., 38(1):193- 198, 2020.