Anatomical effects of periosteal elevation

H C Brownlow, A Reed, C Joyner, A H Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research that involves harvesting the periosteum is common. The exact technique of harvesting is rarely described; however, it may be of vital importance because techniques may vary in their ability to raise the osteogenic cambial layer, which is reported to be tightly adherent to the underlying cortex. This study was performed to define how the cambial and fibrous layers of the periosteum are affected by different techniques of stripping. The periosteum was raised from the tibia and the humerus of adult rabbits with four stripping techniques. The stripped bone surface was examined histologically and with a scanning electron microscope to determine whether the fibrous and cambial layers of the periosteum had been removed and whether there had been damage to the underlying cortex. The results from the two anatomical sites were the same. Raising the periosteum with cortical bone chips (shingling) or with a periosteal elevator removed both layers of the periosteum and caused considerable damage to the surface of the cortex. Raising the periosteum with a sharp scalpel or by simply pulling it off removed the fibrous layer but left the osteogenic layer intact adherent to the cortex. We conclude that some techniques of periosteal elevation fail to harvest the osteogenic layer and therefore may lead to unexpected experimental results. We suggest that authors describe the exact technique of periosteal stripping that was employed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-2
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2000


  • Animals
  • Female
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Periosteum
  • Rabbits


Dive into the research topics of 'Anatomical effects of periosteal elevation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this