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Abstract

This study was designed to test whether bisphosphonates disturb the process of fracture healing. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with either two doses of bisphosphonate (incadronate) (10 μg/kg and 100 μg/kg) or vehicle three times a week for 2 weeks. Right femora were then fractured and fixed with intramedullary wires. Incadronate treatment was stopped in pretreatment groups (P-10 and P-100 groups), while the treatment was continued in continuous treatment groups (C-10 and C-100 groups). Animals were sacrificed at 6 and 16 weeks after surgery. Soft X-ray of all fractured femora was taken. After mechanical testing, fractured femora were stained in Villanueva bone stain and embedded in methyl methacrylate. Cross-sections near fracture line were analyzed by microradiography and histomorphometry. Radiographic study showed that bony callus was present in all the fractures and incadronate treatment led to a larger callus, especially in C-100 group at both 6 and 16 weeks. Histologic study showed that the process of fracture healing in pretreatment groups was delayed at 6 weeks, but reached control level thereafter and showed same characteristics as in control at 16 weeks. Woven bony callus could still be seen in continuous treatment groups at 16 weeks. Mechanical study indicated that the ultimate load of C-100 group was slightly higher than the other treatment groups and control. The results suggest that pretreatment with incadronate did not affect fracture healing at 16 weeks after fracture. However, continuous incadronate treatment could lead to larger callus, but it delayed remodeling process during fracture healing, especially with high-dose treatment.