Moderate soft tissue trauma delays new bone formation only in the early phase of fracture healing

J Orthop Res. 2006 Jun;24(6):1178-85. doi: 10.1002/jor.20173.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a moderate soft tissue trauma to the course of fracture healing in a standardized animal model. Thirty-eight Wistar rats were randomly divided into a fracture group (F, n = 19) and a group with a fracture and a soft tissue trauma (F + STT, n = 19). The fracture and the soft tissue trauma were created using an impact device with a standardized energy. All fractures were stabilized by two Kirschner wires. Three rats were measured for blood flow and sacrificed at days 1, 3, 7, and 14, and seven rats at day 28, from both groups. A three-point bending test was performed on the healed tibia after 28 days. During the first 24 h there was a reduction in blood flow, which was more pronounced in the F + STT group than in the F group. From histological sections, the shape of the callus formation, as well as the tissue distribution of newly formed bone, fibrous cartilage and fibrous connective tissue were determined. Distinctly more periosteal new bone formed and a larger callus formed at days 3 and 7 in group F compared to group F + STT. However, by days 14 and 28, the ossification and overall callus size no longer showed differences between the two groups. A fast recovery of blood flow and callus formation took place in the F + STT group, which led to similar histological and biomechanical results in fracture healing observed after 28 days between the two groups.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fracture Fixation, Intramedullary
  • Fracture Healing / physiology*
  • Fractures, Closed / complications
  • Fractures, Closed / pathology
  • Fractures, Closed / surgery
  • Hindlimb / blood supply
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / complications
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / pathology*
  • Soft Tissue Injuries / physiopathology
  • Tibial Fractures / complications
  • Tibial Fractures / pathology*
  • Tibial Fractures / surgery