The influence of function on the development of bone curvature. An experimental study on the rat tibia



The effect of depriving the tibia of normal mechanical function during its growing period was investigated by performing a unilateral sciatic neurectomy in the gluteal region of young rats. The animals were kept for 16 months, after which their tibias were examined. On the neurectomized side there was a failure of this bone to attain its normal weight, thickness, cross sectional shape or longitudinal curvature. Attainment of the bone's overall length was uneffected.