• Fracture healing;
  • Mechanical stress;
  • Fracture callus;
  • Ossification


The progressive ossification pattern in a fracture callus was predicted based on a theory that relates the local stimulus for ossification to the tissue mechanical loading history. Two-dimensional finite element analyses of a fracture callus were considered at three different stages of ossification. The sites of callus ossification represented in the initial model were predicted by previous analyses relating mechanical stress and vascularity to the differentiation of mesenchymal tissue in the early callus. The zones of further ossification, bone bridging, and bone consolidation predicted in the present study were found to be similar to the ossification patterns that have been documented by other researchers. The approach used to predict fracture healing is identical to that of previous studies predicting joint morphogenesis, with the exception that fracture healing requires continuous, articulating skeletal elements.