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AVN - Histology slides

The lucent crescent seen on the radiograph represents a space between the articular cartilage and the underlying infarcted bone which has resulted from collapse of the subchondral bone following fracture (= Crescent sign). The more elastic articular cartilage maintains its contour. The dense lucent line evident on the superior surface of the femoral head is an image of the subchondral bone end plate and the calcified cartilage, which remain adherent to the articular cartilage after the collapse of the infarcted area. After such a collapse the articular surface probably springs back like a ping-pong ball, giving rise to this radiologic phenomenon. 

Photomicrograph of a histologic preparation of the femoral head shown. The thickened trabeculae of the viable bone at the base of the infarct can be clearly appreciated (H&E, x 1 obj.).



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