With greater numbers of younger patients undergoing total hip replacement (THR), the effect of patient age on the diameter of the femoral canal may become more relevant. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the diameter of the diaphysis of the femoral canal with increasing age in a large number of patients who underwent THR. A total of 1685 patients scheduled for THR had their femoral dimensions recorded from calibrated radiographs. There were 736 males and 949 females with mean ages of 67.1 years (34 to 92) and 70.2 years (29 to 92), respectively. The mean diameter of the femoral canal was 13.3 mm (8.0 to 23.0) for males and 12.7 mm (6.0 to 26.0) for females. There was a poor correlation between age and the diameter of the canal in males (r = 0.071, p = 0.05) but a stronger correlation in females (r = 0.31, p < 0.001).
The diameter of the femoral canal diameter of a female patient undergoing THR could be predicted to increase by 3.2 mm between the ages of 40 and 80 years, in contrast a male would be expected to experience only a 0.6 mm increase during the same period. This increase in the diameter of the canal with age might affect the long-term survival of the femoral component in female patients.