Reaming debris is formed when bone defects are stabilized with an intramedullary nail, and contains viable osteoblast-like cells and growth factors, and might thus act as a natural osteoinductive scaffold. The advantage of using reaming debris over stem cells or autologous bone for healing bone defects is that no extra surgery is needed to obtain the material. To assess the clinical feasibility of using reaming debris to enhance bone healing, we investigated whether reaming debris enhances the healing rate of a bone defect in sheep tibia, compared to an empty gap. As golden standard the defect was filled with iliac crest bone. Bones treated with iliac crest bone and reaming debris showed larger callus volume, increased bone volume, and decreased cartilage volume in the fracture gap, and increased torsional toughness compared to the empty gap group at 3 weeks postoperative. In addition, bones treated with reaming debris showed increased torsional stiffness at 6 weeks postoperatively compared to the empty defect group, while bending stiffness was marginally increased. These results indicate that reaming debris could serve as an excellent alternative to iliac crest bone for speeding up the healing process in bone defects that are treated with an intramedullary nail. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 2011.