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Scientists discover way to jumpstart bone's healing process
Date:4/14/2009

a bone becomes unstable and can move back and forth creating a painful phenomenon known as micromotion. As the bone begins healing it must progress through specific, well-defined stages. First, osteoclasts cells that can break down bone clean up any fragments or debris produced during the break. Next, a layer of cartilage called a callus forms around the fracture that ultimately calcifies, preventing the bony ends from moving, providing relief from the significant pain brought on by micromotion.

Only after the callus is calcified do the bone forming cells osteoblasts begin their work. They replace the cartilage with true bone, and eventually reform the fracture to match the shape and structure of the bone into what it was before the break.

According to Puzas, teriparatide significantly speeds up fracture healing by changing the behavior and number of the cartilage and the bone stem cells involved in the process.

"Teriparatide dramatically stimulates the bone's stem cells into action," Puzas said. "As a result, the callus forms quicker and stronger. Osteoblasts form more bone and the micromotion associated with the fracture is more rapidly eliminated. All of this activity explains why people with non-healing fractures can now return to normal function sooner."

"The decreased healing time is significant, especially when fractures are in hard-to-heal areas like the pelvis and the spine, where you can't easily immobilize the bone and stop the pain," Bukata added. "Typically, a pelvic fracture will take months to heal, and people are in extreme pain for the first eight to 12 weeks. This time was more than cut in half; we saw complete pain relief, callus formation, and stability of the fracture in people who had fractures that up to that point had not healed."

The new clinical research will study post-menopausal women and men over 50 who come to the Emergency Department at Strong Memorial Hospital with a low-energy pelvic
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Contact: Germaine Reinhardt
Germaine_Reinhardt@urmc.rochester.edu
585-275-6517
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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