The bone mineral content of the femoral neck of 61 autopsy specimens was assayed by x-ray spectrophotometry. The mechanical strength of the specimens was also determined experimentally by applying a compressive force perpendicularly to the shaft. The ultimate force at fracture was obtained from force/displacement plots. a coefficient of correlation of 0.89 between bone mineral content of the femoral neck and the ultimate force at fracture was found. Even when limited to a group of women aged 67–80 a fairly close correlation was found. This indicates that the bone mineral level, measured in vivo, can be used as a criterion of the risk of fracture in elderly women.
Keywords: femoral neck, mechanical strength, bone mineral content, x-ray spectrophotometry