Principles of bone healing

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Our contemporary understanding of bone healing has evolved due to knowledge gleaned from a continuous interaction between basic laboratory investigations and clinical observations following procedures to augment healing of fractures, osseous defects, and unstable joints. The stages of bone healing parallel the early stages of bone development. The bone healing process is greatly influenced by a variety of systemic and local factors. A thorough understanding of the basic science of bone healing as well as the many factors that can affect it is critical to the management of a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. In particular, the evolving management of spinal disorders can greatly benefit from the advancement of our understanding of the principles of bone healing.

Abbreviation used in this paper:BMP = bone morphogenetic protein.

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Address reprint requests to: Iain H. Kalfas M.D., F.A.C.S., Department of Neurosurgery (S80), Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195. email:

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