Development of a femoral non-union model in the mouse

Matthew E. Oetgen, Greg A. Merrell, Nancy W. Troiano, Mark C. Horowitz, Melissa A. Kacena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Objectives: Advancements in our knowledge of fracture healing have occurred in large part by the understanding of this process on a microscopic level. The ability to develop experimental non-union models in animals will assist in the investigation of this problem and are likely to lead to novel treatments. We report on a technique for developing experimental non-unions in mice. Methods: Femoral fractures were created in 48 CD1 mice, 24 mice underwent standard closed femoral fractures, and 24 mice underwent creation of a femoral non-union through an open osteotomy and fracture devascularisation method. All fractures were subsequently rodded. Histological examinations of the fractures were then conducted at eight time points post-operatively. Results: The control group showed normal fracture healing with histological evidence of bony fracture bridging by 28 days and mature bony remodelling at 63 days. The non-union group showed delayed fracture healing at all time points and no evidence of bony healing at 63 days. Conclusion: This is the first report of a reliable method to develop fracture non-union in mice. We believe this technique will be critical to further the investigation of fracture non-union in normal mice and provides the great advantage of using the plethora of transgenic and knockout mouse models to analyse non-union at the cell and molecular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1126
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008



  • Experiment design
  • Mice
  • Non-union

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Oetgen, M. E., Merrell, G. A., Troiano, N. W., Horowitz, M. C., & Kacena, M. A. (2008). Development of a femoral non-union model in the mouse. Injury, 39(10), 1119-1126.