SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The experimental increase in mechanical usage or overloading of the left hindlimb was produced by immobilization of the contralateral hindlimb. The right hindlimb was placed in a flexed position against the body and was immobilized using an elastic bandage. Some control animals were sacrificed initially at time zero and increased mechanical usage and age-matched control animals were sacrificed after 2, 10, 18, and 26 weeks of treatment. All animals received double bone fluorochrome labeling prior to sacrifice. Cortical bone histomorphometry and cross-sectional moments of inertia were determined. Marrow cavity enlargement and total cross-sectional area expansion represented the age-related cortical bone changes. Increased mechanical usage enhanced periosteal bone modeling in the formation mode and dampened endocortical bone remodeling and bone modeling in the resorption mode (resorption drift) to create a slight positive bone balance. These observations are in general agreement with Frost's postulate for mechanical effects on bone modeling and remodeling (Frost, H.M. 1987b. Bone “mass” and the “mechanostat.” A proposal. Anat. Rec. 219:1–9). The maximum moment of inertia did not change significantly in either control or overloaded tibial shafts. The minimum and polar moment of inertias in overloaded bones increases over those of controls at 18 and 26 weeks of the experiment.