Osteosynthesis and Trauma Care 2003; 11: 3-5
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-42285
Research - Fundamental

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Testosterone is a Potent Accelerator of Fracture Healing: Early Structural Reconstruction and Improved Biomechanical Stability

M. Gesicki[*] 1 , J. Tibba[*] 1 , C. K. Nguyen[*] 1 , F. T. Beil1 , J. M. Rueger1 , M. Haberland1 , M. Amling1
  • 1Hamburg University, School of Medicine, Dept. of Trauma, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Hamburg, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 September 2003 (online)


Sex steroids (e. g., estrogen and testosterone) are known to have an integral function in skeletal homeostasis. Though they are known to improve bone strength, their role in fracture healing has not been well defined. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of testosterone on skeletal repair mechanisms, in order to test the hypothesis that sex steroids could be used to accelerate fracture healing after intramedullary nailing. Fracture healing was studied in 60 eugonadal female and male mice treated either with testosterone or placebo. To make mouse models accessible to fracture modulation studies that also allow biomechanical analysis, we modified the Einhorn tibial fracture model and developed a standardized closed femur fracture model. Mice treated with testosterone showed a significant acceleration of fracture healing. Callus size as assessed by contact-radiography and microCT was significantly enhanced. This beneficial effect could be demonstrated in female as well as in male mice. Furthermore, not only radiological and histological data demonstrated a positive morphological interference of testosterone with the fracture healing process, but also the functional competence, as assessed by three-point bending tests, was dramatically improved. This study shows that testosterone can be used to enhance and accelerate fracture healing.


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1 * These authors contributed equally and therefore share first authorship.

PD Dr. Michael Amling

Klinik für Unfall-, Hand- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie

Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

Martinistrasse 52

20246 Hamburg


Phone: +49/40-4 28 03-60 83

Fax: +49/40-4 28 03-80 10

Email: amling@uke.uni-hamburg.de