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Ontogeny of the Human Pelvis

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The human pelvis has evolved over time into a remarkable structure, optimised into an intricate architecture that transfers the entire load of the upper body into the lower limbs, while also facilitating bipedal movement. The pelvic girdle is composed of two hip bones, os coxae, themselves each formed from the gradual fusion of the ischium, ilium and pubis bones. Unlike the development of the classical long bones, a complex timeline of events must occur in order for the pelvis to arise from the embryonic limb buds. An initial blastemal structure forms from the mesenchyme, with chondrification of this mass leading to the first recognisable elements of the pelvis. Primary ossification centres initiate in utero, followed post‐natally by secondary ossification at a range of locations, with these processes not complete until adulthood. This cascade of events can vary between individuals, with recent evidence suggesting that fetal activity can affect the normal development of the pelvis. This review surveys the current literature on the ontogeny of the human pelvis. Anat Rec, 300:643–652, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Keywords: acetabulum; chondrification; development; hip joint; morphogenesis; ossification

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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