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Histological characteristics of the vastus lateralis muscle in patients undergoing hip surgery Payne, Amelia Patterson


In aging populations, musculoskeletal changes cause a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living, to exercise or to maintain an active lifestyle. Musculoskeletal changes may include the loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), joint changes (osteoarthritis), or bone deterioration (osteoporosis). These types of musculoskeletal changes can also result in the need for hip surgery, a common procedure in older adults, often resulting from a hip fracture due to a non-traumatic event, or a hip replacement due to osteoarthritis. The primary risk factor for hip surgeries is the underlying musculoskeletal condition: osteoporosis (OP) or osteoarthritis (OA). Each of these conditions can lead to serious disability. In OP, bone density is low and bony microarchitecture is disrupted; in OA, the bones become hard, and develop outgrowths. Skeletal muscle plays an active role in bone density and strength, making it reasonable to assume that the structure and characteristics of skeletal muscle tissue will also affect bones and joints. The purpose of this study is to describe morphological and histological differences in muscle fibre characteristics of an important lower extremity muscle, the vastus lateralis (VL). These characteristics were compared between persons undergoing hip surgery and a control group of comparably-aged older adults. This comparison occurred by quantifying the percentage of normal and abnormal muscle fibres, as well as the percentage of adipocytes. Using an ANCOVA to examine between group differences, this study found a difference (p<O.05) between groups in percentage of abnormal fibres and inflamed/ necrotic fibres. This shows that in some histological characteristics, the muscle tissue of older adults who experience hip surgery is different from those who do not. This study also found low to moderate, positive correlations of abnormal fibres, inflamed/necrotic fibres, and internally nucleated fibres with age. There are few reports of muscle structure in persons prior to undergoing hip surgery. Therefore, this knowledge will contribute to information on degenerative changes that may be present in the VL in older individuals prior to hip fracture.

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