Studies demonstrate that geometric changes in bone architecture in response to altered mechanical strain occur through the formation of woven bone. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that these changes are partly the result of surgical manipulation rather than a true adaptive response to altered strain. Beagle dogs were subjected to either an ulnar osteotomy, an osteotomy with plate fixation, or sham operation. Strains on the radius were measured just prior to sacrifice 1, 3 or 6 months after surgery. Our results support the idea that woven bone can be a normal response to an abnormal strain environment if the mechanical challenge is intense enough; that elevated mechanical strains can cause the endocortical bone envelope to revert to a state of net formation; and that “adaptive remodeling” in adults in response to a change in mechanical strain may be a special case of modeling in which resorption is not required prior to formation at a particular skeletal site.
Keywords: Strain; Woven bone; Bone remodeling; Dogs