17 Scopus citations


Many nontraumatic fractures seen clinically in patients with metabolic bone disorders or on antiresorptive treatment show an increased incidence of microdamage accumulation and impaired intracortical remodeling. However, the lack of basal remodeling and Haversian bone in rodents limits their translatability in studying bone damage repair mechanisms. The work presented here demonstrates the development of the forelimb loading model in rabbits, the smallest mammal with intracortical Haversian remodeling. The forelimbs of post-mortem female New Zealand white rabbits were loaded in axial end compression to determine their basic monotonic and fatigue properties. Following time zero characterization, stress fractures were created in vivo and animals were allowed to recover for a period of two to five weeks. The rabbit forelimb when loaded in axial compression demonstrates a consistent mid-diaphyseal fracture location characterized by a local mixed compression-bending loading environment. Forelimb apparent stiffness, when fatigue loaded, demonstrates a progressive increase until macrocrack formation, at which time apparent stiffness rapidly declines until failure. Stress fractures in the rabbit ulna display robust periosteal expansion and woven bone formation two weeks following fracture. Subsequent healing at five weeks post-fracture is marked by woven bone densification, resorption and intracortical remodeling along the stress fracture line. The rabbit forelimb fatigue model is a promising new platform by which bone׳s response to damage may be studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3564-3569
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 3 2016


  • Bone damage
  • Bone fatigue
  • Bone mechanics
  • In vivo forelimb loading
  • Rabbit ulna


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