An internal locking plate to study intramembranous bone healing in a mouse femur fracture model

J Orthop Res. 2010 Mar;28(3):397-402. doi: 10.1002/jor.21008.


In most murine fracture models, the femur is stabilized by an intramedullary implant and heals predominantly through endochondral ossification. The aim of the present study was to establish a mouse model in which fractures heal intra-membraneously. Femur fractures of 16 SKH-mice were stabilized by an internal locking plate. Femur fractures of another 16 animals were stabilized by an intramedullary screw. Bone repair was analyzed by radiographic, biomechanical, and histological methods. At 2 weeks, histological analysis showed a significantly smaller callus diameter and callus area after locking plate fixation. Cartilage formation within the callus could only be observed after screw fixation, but not after fracture stabilization with the locking plate. Radiological and biomechanical analysis after 2 and 5 weeks showed a significantly improved healing and a higher bending stiffness of fractures stabilized by the locking plate. Fractures stabilized by the locking plate healed exclusively by intramembranous ossification, which is most probably a result of the anatomical reduction and stable fixation. The fractures that healed by intramembranous ossification showed an increased stiffness compared to fractures that healed by endochondral ossification. This model may be used to study molecular mechanisms of intramembranous bone healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Plates* / adverse effects
  • Bone Screws
  • Equipment Design
  • Femoral Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoral Fractures / pathology
  • Femoral Fractures / physiopathology*
  • Femoral Fractures / surgery*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / etiology
  • Fracture Fixation, Intramedullary*
  • Fracture Healing*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Radiography