The biomechanical environment plays a dominant role in the process of fracture repair. Mechanical signals control biological activities at the fracture site, regulate the formation and proliferation of different cell types, and are responsible for the formation of connective tissues and the consolidation of the fractured bone. The mechanobiology at the fracture site can be easily manipulated by the design and configuration of the fracture fixation construct and by the loading of the extremity (weight-bearing prescription). Depending on the choice of fracture fixation, the healing response can be directed towards direct healing or towards indirect healing through callus formation. This manuscript summarizes the evidence from experimental studies and clinical observations on the effect of mechanical manipulation on the healing response. Parameters like fracture gap size, interfragmentary movement, interfragmentary strain, and axial and shear deformation will be explored with respect to their respective effects on fracture repair. Also, the role of externally applied movement on the potential enhancement on the fracture repair process will be explored. Factors like fracture gap size, type and amplitude of the mechanical deformation as well as the loading history and its timing will be discussed.
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