Short-term effects of bisphosphonates on the biomechanical properties of canine bone

Xiaodu Wang, Arun S. Shanbhag, Harry E. Rubash, C. Mauli Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Periprosthetic osteolysis and aseptic loosening of total joint replacements are believed to be initiated often by abnormal bone resorption induced by prosthetic wear debris. Bisphosphonates can inhibit bone resorption and have been successfully used clinically to treat osteoporosis and Paget's disease. In a recent study it also was shown that a third generation bisphosphonate (alendronate) is effective in preventing wear debris-induced periprosthetic osteolysis. Since inhibition of bone resorption by alendronate may disrupt the delicate balance between bone resorption and formation in normal bone remodeling, it is possible that continuous alendronate therapy may have an adverse effect on the biomechanical properties of bone. Thus the purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of systemic alendronate administration on the biomechanical properties of normal bone using a canine total hip arthroplasty model. We evaluated the biomechanical properties of femora from canines that had received total hip replacements on one side and had been given oral alendronate daily for 23 weeks. The biomechanical properties assessed were fracture toughness, elastic modulus, tensile strength, microhardness, porosity, and weight fractions of the mineral and organic phases of bone. Also, bone microstructure was examined using optical microscopy. Our results indicate that in the short term alendronate therapy does not have any adverse effects on the intrinsic biomechanical properties of canine bone. However, the long-term effects of alendronate therapy still need to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-460
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 1999


  • Alendronate
  • Bone
  • Fracture toughness
  • Osteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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