Basic concepts regarding fracture healing and the current options and future directions in managing bone fractures

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Fracture healing is a complex physiological process, which involves a well-orchestrated series of biological events. Repair of large bone defects resulting from trauma, tumours, osteitis, delayed unions, non-unions, osteotomies, arthrodesis and multifragmentary fractures is a current challenge of surgeons and investigators. Different therapeutic modalities have been developed to enhance the healing response and fill the bone defects. Different types of growth factors, stem cells, natural grafts (autografts, allografts or xenografts) and biologic- and synthetic-based tissue-engineered scaffolds are some of the examples. Nevertheless, these organic and synthetic materials and therapeutic agents have some significant limitations, and there are still no well-approved treatment modalities to meet all the expected requirements. Bone tissue engineering is a newer option than the traditional grafts and may overcome many limitations of the bone graft. To select an appropriate treatment strategy in achieving a successful and secure healing, more information concerning injuries of bones, their healing process and knowledge of the factors involved are required.The main goals of this work are to present different treatment modalities of the fractured bones and to explain how fractures normally heal and what factors interfere with fracture healing. This study provides an overview of the processes of fracture healing and discusses the current therapeutic strategies that have been claimed to be effective in accelerating fracture healing.

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