Researchers make new discovery on bone fracture healing: 5 key notes

Written by Mary Rechtoris | December 30, 2015 | Print  |

Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University researchers discovered fibrin is not crucial for bone fracture healing, contrary to popular belief. Rather, fibrin's breakdown and clearance are important to the healing process, according to MD News.

Researchers observed fracture healing in three groups of mice to determine if fibrin was indispensable.


Toxicologic Pathology published the findings.


Here are five key notes:


1. Jonathan Schoenecker, MD, PhD, assistant professor of orthopedics pharmacology, pathology and pediatrics at Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology, led the study.


2. In the study, Dr. Schoenecker and his colleagues aimed to determine how much fibrin was needed to heal a fracture.


3. Researchers found while mice without fibrinogen had greater bleeding after a fracture, their fractures healed normally otherwise.


4. The study found plasminogen-deficient mice without the ability to clear fibrin from the site of injury faced impaired healing and experienced heterotopic ossification in their muscle.


5. Researchers are unsure why the mice experienced heterotopic ossification. They plan to make heterotopic ossification a focal pout for further research.


"If anticoagulants do have an effect on fracture healing, it sure isn't because of fibrin,” Dr. Schoenecker said. "[The study] completely opens up what we can do pharmacologically because we now know that those two things aren't tied together. That's been the fear in orthopedics for a really long time — that the anticoagulant use would drop the amount of fibrin, which makes it so the template isn't there for healing."


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