About This Item
The Mütter Museum is one of the very few historical anatomical museums that still occasionally accepts donations of body parts if they are appropriate for the collection. In recent years, staff and their family members have provided several specimens.
One staff member asked his surgeon to preserve the head of his femur (thighbone) removed during hip replacement surgery. The powerful antiretroviral drugs he was taking to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had disrupted the blood supply to his hip joints, causing painful osteonecrosis—literally “dead bone”—at the ends of the bones. Though osteonecrosis occurs in only about 1% of HIV-positive people, they are at a higher risk for the condition than the general population.
Information on donating human biological specimens to the Mütter Museum can be found at this FAQ.