Femoral fractures were created in rats to determine whether there were differences in healing under conditions of immobilization and under conditions of immediate weight-bearing. Histological and roentgenographic differences were present by the second week after fracture and differences in mechanical properties were also present. These differences became progressively greater during the next three weeks. Functional weight-bearing was found to accelerate the rate of fracture healing and to improve significantly the strength of the healing bone.
Copyright 1977 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated