• calcium;
  • bone fracture;
  • osteoporosis;
  • callus;
  • ovariectomy


Fracture healing is a complex process, which is further complicated if the bone is osteoporotic. Calcium is one of the important minerals in bone and has been found to prevent osteoporosis but its role in fracture healing of osteoporotic bone is still unclear. We carried out a study on the effects of calcium supplementation on the late phase healing of fractured osteoporotic bone using an ovariectomized rat model. Twenty-four female Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into three groups: sham-operated (SO), ovariectomized-control (OVXC), and ovariectomized + calcium supplements (Ca). The right femurs of all the rats were fractured at mid-epiphysis and a K-wire was inserted for internal fixation. After 2 months of treatment, the rats were sacrificed and the femora were dissected out for radiological and biomechanical assessment. As expected, osteoporosis resulted in impaired healing as shown by the poor radiological and biomechanical properties of the OVXC group. CT scans showed significantly lower callus volumes in the SO and Ca groups compared to the OVXC group. Radiological scoring of fracture healing and callus staging of the SO and Ca groups were better than the OVXC group. However, the biomechanical parameters of the Ca group were significantly lower than the SO group and similar to the OVXC group. Therefore, calcium supplements may appear to improve fracture healing of osteoporotic bone but failed to improve strength. © 2010 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 28:1651–1656, 2010