, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1059-1063
Date: 27 Oct 2009

Successful treatment of sternal fracture nonunion with teriparatide

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Fractures have a significant impact on the quality of life for the patient in addition to an enormous indirect cost in lost productivity for our economy. While majority of fractures heal uneventfully, some fail to heal even after many months resulting in nonunion.


Sternal nonunions, although rare, are particularly onerous for the patient given the magnitude of impact on quality of life.


Current treatment for fracture nonunions emphasizes various approaches to surgical fixation in addition to bone grafting. These treatments are aggressive and have a variety of drawbacks, rendering them suboptimal as a therapeutic approach.


Based on the success of teriparatide in animal studies to accelerate fracture healing, there is growing interest in using this drug in humans for the same purpose. We report a case of what we believe to be the first successful use of teriparatide in the healing of a sternal nonunion fracture.