Bone modeling during growth: dynamic strain equilibrium in the chick tibiotarsus

Calcif Tissue Int. 1986 Dec;39(6):390-5. doi: 10.1007/BF02555177.


Bone loading was quantified, using in vivo strain recordings, in the tibiotarsus of growing chicks at 4, 8, 12, and 17 weeks of age. The animals were exercised on a treadmill at 35% of their maximum running speed for 15 minutes/day. In vivo bone strains were recorded at six sites on the tibiotarsus. Percentages of the bone's length and a percentage of top running speed were used to define functionally equivalent sites on the bone, and a consistent exercise level over the period of growth was studied. The pattern of bone strain defined in terms of strain magnitude, sign, and orientation remained unchanged from 4-17 weeks of age, a period when bone mass and length increased 10-fold and threefold, respectively. Our findings support the hypothesis that bones model (and remodel) during growth to achieve and maintain a similar distribution of dynamic strains at functionally equivalent sites. Because strain magnitude and sign (tensile versus compressive) differed among recording sites, these data also suggest that cellular responses to strain-mediated stimuli differ from site to site within a bone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Development*
  • Chickens / growth & development
  • Physical Exertion
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tarsus, Animal / growth & development
  • Tibia / growth & development