Analysis of Bone Remodeling

  • R. Bruce Martin
  • David B. Burr
  • Neil A. Sharkey


The preceding chapter provided a general description of the structure and biology of bone and cartilage. We learned how bones grow, are sculpted by modeling and continuously renewed by remodeling, and repair themselves when fractured. All of these are important processes, but in this chapter we focus on remodeling, for two reasons. First, remodeling is the only one of these processes that occurs throughout one’s lifetime. Growth and modeling are essentially restricted to children, and fracture healing is restricted to even more isolated periods of time. Second, because bone remodeling occurs throughout life, it plays a dominant role in determining the structure of most of the tissues in the skeleton, most of the time. Consequently, remodeling is a primary determinant of the mechanical properties of bone, their resistance to fatigue failure, and their ability to function in a changing mechanical environment. Therefore, we need to develop our understanding of bone remodeling in some depth to pursue our study of skeletal tissue mechanics.


Bone Remodel Activation Frequency Bone Formation Rate Resorption Cavity Haversian Canal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bruce Martin
    • 1
  • David B. Burr
    • 2
  • Neil A. Sharkey
    • 3
  1. 1.Orthopaedics Research Laboratories, Research Building IUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, MS 259Indiana University School of MedicineIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Center for Locomotion StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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