Magnesium (Mg) has the advantage of being resorbed in vivo, but its resorption rate is difficult to control. With uncontrolled resorption, Magnesium as a bone fixation material has minimal clinical value. During resorption not only is the strength rapidly weakened, but rapid formation of metabolite also occurs. In order to overcome these disadvantages, hydroxyapatite (HA) surface coating of pure magnesium plate was attempted in this study. Magnesium plates were inserted above the frontal bone of Sprague-Dawley rats in both the control group (Bare-Mg group) and the experimental group (HA-Mg group). The presence of inflammation, infection, hydrogen gas formation, wound dehiscence, and/or plate exposure was observed, blood tests were performed, and the resorption rate and tensile strength of the retrieved metal plates were measured. The HA-Mg group showed no gas formation or plate exposure until week 12. However, the Bare-Mg group showed consistent gas formation and plate exposure beginning in week 2. WBC (White Blood Cell), BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen), Creatinine, and serum magnesium concentration levels were within normal range in both groups. AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase) and ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) values, however, were above normal range in some animals of both groups. The HA-Mg group showed statistically significant advantage in resistance to degradation compared to the Bare-Mg group in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. Degradation of HA-Mg plates proceeded after week 12. Coating magnesium plates with hydroxyapatite may be a viable method to maintain their strength long enough to allow bony healing and to control the resorption rate during the initial period.
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