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Abstract

This investigation was undertaken to study the relation of split-lines to the microscopic structure of cortical bone by means of microradiography and conventional histologic staining techniques.

The results indicate that the feature of bone structure that determines the production and orientation of split-lines is the disposition of collagenous fibers, whether the bone organization is Haversian (osteone-containing) or not.

Differences of opinion in the literature concerning the “causation” of split-lines appear to stem from a failure to distinguish between the morphologic and functional aspects of the problem.