It’s time to rewrite the textbook description of bone fracture healing.
The findings, reported in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, shift understanding of how fractures heal and have implications for efforts to promote fracture repair.
“In certain instances it may help, but we’ve shown for sure that you don’t need it. Bone biology does not require fibrin to heal a fracture.” Since fibrin is the main protein at the site of a fracture, it was thought to promote repair by providing a scaffold for the initial phase of new bone formation. The investigators had previously reported the importance of vascular re-connection for bone fracture healing.
Using imaging techniques they developed to simultaneously study angiogenesis and bone formation after fracture, they found that blood vessels grow first at the ends of the fracture, extend and reconnect.
In the current studies, the investigators also found that mice unable to clear fibrin formed bone in muscle – a condition called heterotopic ossification that can complicate healing after trauma and orthopaedic surgery.