Mineral parameters in early fracture repair.

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In an effort to define and characterize the initial mineralization product of fracture-healing, we studied the mineral components within a model of endochondral osseous repair. Fracture calluses from the tibiae of rats and rabbits undergoing endochondral fracture-healing were analyzed, in toto and following density fractionation, by physicochemical and crystallographic techniques. Significant changes in mineral composition, crystal size, and density occurred in the early phases of fracture repair. In the rat, two weeks after fracture, the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio was higher than that of the mineral component, possibly due to calcium-binding to some of the macromolecules known to be present. The earliest mineral was poorly crystallized hydroxyapatite with a high carbonate content. Crystal perfection improved rapidly and approached that of normal diaphyseal bone within eight weeks after endochondral fracture in both the rabbit and the rat.

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