Osteoporosis International

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–8

The role of osteocytes and bone microstructure in preventing osteoporotic fractures


DOI: 10.1007/s00198-006-0222-y

Cite this article as:
Hazenberg, J.G., Taylor, D. & Lee, T.C. Osteoporos Int (2007) 18: 1. doi:10.1007/s00198-006-0222-y


The skeleton alters its geometry following trauma, the introduction of artificial defects and of fatigue-induced microcracks. The precise mechanism by which the skeleton adapts remains unclear. Microcracks might directly affect the cell by damaging the osteocyte cell network or causing apoptosis. Bone microstructure may play an important role in these processes by diverting and arresting propagating microcracks and so prevent fracture failure. This paper discusses the effects of microstructure on propagating cracks, how microdamage may act as a stimulus for bone adaptation and its potential effects on bone biochemistry.


Bone adaptation Microdamage Osteocytes Osteoporotic fracture RANKL 

Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan G. Hazenberg
    • 1
  • David Taylor
    • 2
  • T. Clive Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in IrelandSt. Stephen’s GreenDublin 2Ireland
  2. 2.Trinity Centre for BioengineeringTrinity CollegeDublin 2Ireland