Earlier effect of alendronate in mouse metaphyseal versus diaphyseal bone healing

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Healing of injured cancellous bone is characterized by a transient stage of rapid bone formation throughout the traumatized bone volume, often followed by similarly rapid resorption. This is different from the slower diaphyseal healing via an external callus. We, therefore, hypothesized that antiresorptive treatment might have an earlier positive effect in cancellous bone healing than in diaphyseal fractures. One hundred and twenty-three male C57bl6 mice received either an internally stabilized diaphyseal osteotomy of the femur or a screw inserted into the tibial metaphysis. The mice were randomized to daily alendronate injections (200 μg/kg/day), or control injections, and killed for mechanical testing after 14, 21, or 28 days. The hypothesis was tested by a three-way Anova (time, site, and drug). The ultimate force was increased by bisphosphonate treatment in both models. There was a significant interaction between time, site, and drug (p < 0.001) so that the full positive effect of alendronate was evident in the metaphysis at 14 days, but first after 28 days in the diaphysis. While the early effect in the metaphysis might be translated into earlier healing, the late effect in the diaphysis was due to delayed remodeling of the callus, which might have less clinical importance. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res

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