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Regional differences in mechanical and material properties of femoral head cancellous bone in health and osteoarthritisOsteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating condition common among the aging population. In this study we have determined mechanical and material properties of cancellous bone cores from two differently loaded regions of femoral heads obtained from healthy subjects and those with end-stage osteoarthritis. Densitometric properties were determined prior to compression testing for Young's modulus (EC) and yield strength (sy), after which bones were powdered for analysis of collagen and mineral content. In both OA and normal cancellous bone, volumetric bone mineral density (BMDv), apparent density (rA), EC, and sy were systematically greater in the superior than in the inferior region (P<0.05). In the OA inferior region, median BMDv (0.434 g-cm-3) and rA (0.426 g-cm-3) were significantly greater than in normals (0.329 and 0.287 g-cm-3, respectively, both P<0.05) reflecting an increased amount of tissue. The mineral:collagen ratio was decreased in OA, but this was only significant in the superior region (P<0.008). Relationships between EC and both BMDv and rA were weaker in OA bone cores (r2 = 0.66 and r2 = 0.59) than in normals (r2 = 0.86 and r2 = 0.77, respectively). Likewise, sy and both BMDv and rA were weaker in OA (r2 = 0.74 and r2 = 0.70) than in normals (r2 = 0.83 and r2 = 0.77, respectively). For the same value of density measure, EC and sy tended to be lower in OA bone when compared with normal bone. In conclusion, femoral head cancellous bone mass in end-stage osteoarthritis is increased but undermineralized, and is neither stiffer nor stronger than normal cancellous bone.