Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. David Pienkowski


Bisphosphonates (BPs) are used for the treatment of osteoporosis. This study evaluated changes in bone microdamage with BP treatment duration. Fifty-one iliac crest biopsies were obtained from Caucasian women, ages 41 to 87 years, who were previously diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis with oral BPs for 1-16 years duration. Patients diagnosed with any disease, drug, or substance abuse that may affect bone metabolism were excluded.

Bone samples were sectioned, stained, and histologically examined using light and fluorescence microscopy. Bone area, number and length of microcracks were quantified. Following adjustment for age, BMD, BV/TV, trabecular thickness, and turnover, regression analysis revealed a relationship between microcrack density and treatment duration (p=0.018). No significant relationship was observed between microcrack length and treatment duration.

This study provides novel data relating microdamage with varying BP treatment duration in human bone. Given information from other studies showing that microdamage amounts are related to changes in bone biomechanics, the BP treatment duration related changes in microdamage shown offer new information that may help optimize osteoporosis treatment.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)