Osteoporosis International

, Volume 16, Supplement 2, pp S129–S138 | Cite as

Animal models for fracture treatment in osteoporosis

  • Marcus EgermannEmail author
  • J. Goldhahn
  • E. Schneider


Demographic changes in the age structure of occidental populations are giving rise to osteoporosis and associated fractures, which are becoming a major public health burden. Various animal models have been established and used to investigate the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and to facilitate the preclinical testing of new treatment options such as antiresorptive drugs. Although osteoporosis can be induced in animals, spontaneous fractures without adequate trauma were only found in nonhuman primates. An animal model designed to investigate new ways to treat fractures of osteoporotic bone has to fulfill requirements that are very different from those of pharmacological testing. The aspects of major interest in orthopedic applications are bone fragility, efficacy of implant fixation and bone healing. Existing animal models for osteoporosis were critically reviewed focusing on these aspects. The advantages and disadvantages of the models with regard to their application in the testing of new fracture-fixation devices or biological approaches to stimulate bone healing are discussed. Ovariectomy alone does not cause the bone loss seen in osteoporotic human patients. New models to simulate fracture of osteoporotic bone need to be explored and used to address the specific aims of an experiment.


Animal models Bone fragility Bone healing Fracture Implant fixation Osteoporosis  


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© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AO Research InstituteDavos PlatzSwitzerland

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