SCIENCE BAckED FACTS THAT BONES REMODEL throughout your entire life
Most people wouldn’t consider bones to be alive simply because hey aren’t soft and pliable like our muscles. However, bone tissue is continually renewed in all vertebrates, and your bone consists of mineralised tissue as well as several different varieties of cells embedded in it.
Throughout life, bone is constantly renewed through a process called remodeling. This process consists of two stages: resorption and formation. During resorption, old bone tissue is broken down and removed by special cells called osteoclasts. Once this has been done, bone formation begins and new bone tissue is laid down to replace the old. This task is performed by special cells called osteoblasts. Osteoblasts produce collagen, enzymes, and other proteins that make up the organic portion of the bone matrix.”
Vigorous exercise and healthful diet with adequate calcium, protein, and vitamin D are essential in achieving sufficient bone mass during the bone adaptation process.
Fact 1: Limb lengthening surgery is an excellent example to prove that bones remodel, re-build, grow, thicken, heal, or lengthen due to a stretching force (either by limb lengthening device or by heavy ankle weights).
Fact 2: Bone modeling occurs throughout life in two ways: hypertrophy (growth) or atrophy (s
hypertrophy is increase in bone density. Bone hypertrophy occurs in response to physical activity.
According to research conducted on tennis players by Henry H. Jones and colleagues (Stanford California), the racket arm of a tennis players are denser and thicker than the other arm.
The study was done on both tennis players males and females. The men were on average 27 years old and the females were 24 years old.
Fact 3: Physical activity increases bone density throughout the skeletal system, not only in the bones being stressed. Bone hypertrophy is stimulated more by the magnitude of the skeletal loading than by the frequency of loading.
Though no measurements were taken, in another study that investigated the difference in length of baseball pitchers’ arms , King and co-workers confirmed hypertrophy in bones for the dominant throwing arm of baseball pitchers.
Fact 4: Mechanical stress such as muscle contraction and gravitational forces stimulate an increase in bone density by increase in osteoblast activity. Athletes who engage in these types of activities, on average, have greater bone density.
Nilsson and Westlin ( Malmö University , Sweden), demonstrated a measurable increase in bone density in the distal part of the femur of athletes compared with those of non-athletes. In the athletes, they also found an increase in density in the femur of the preferred extremity compared with the other side.
On the other hand, Dalen nand Olsson found a 20 per cent increase in the trabecular bone ( one which makes up the inner layer of the bone and has a spongy, honeycomb-like structure) in the extremities of a group of cross- country runners compared with a sedentary control group.
Fact 5: Bone fractures can heal at any age even among the elderly. A study was carried out by David P. Taormina, and colleagues aimed to establish the relationship between age and healing time after non – union fracture surgery.
Most bone fractures heal without difficulty. However, fractures that demonstrate motion of the bony ends with incomplete healing more than 6 months after injury are called non-union fractures.
Given the potential setting of conditions like osteopenia (Decreased bone density which leads to bone fragility and an increased chance of breaking) , poorer fracture biology, and comorbid medical conditions, elderly patients are at a higher risk of fracture nonunion. Such risk factors may compromise the success of fracture nonunion surgery.
However, a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data identified and included 272 patients (aged 18-91) who were indicated for long bone nonunion surgery.
Analyses were performed comparing elderly patients aged 65 years or older with patients under 65 years for postoperative wound complications, Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment functional status, healing, and surgical revision.
Regression analyses were performed to look for associations between age, smoking status, and history of previous nonunion surgery with healing and functional outcome. Twelve-month follow-up was obtained on 91.5% (249 of 272) of patients.
Despite demographic differences in the aged population, including a predominance of medical comorbidities and osteopenia, there was no statistical differences in the healing rate of elderly patients or time to union . Rates of postoperative wound complications and surgical revision did not statistically differ.
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