Thursday, March 22, 2007

Composition of a Bone

The bone has five main functions
1. Support: They support the body.
2. Protection: They keep organs away from damage, such as the rib cage and the skull.
3. Movement: The joints allow for movement.
4. Storage: The bone stores fat and some minerals.
5. Blood cell formation: The bone is the place that most of your blood components are made.

Composition of the Bone
The inside of the bone is made of three primal tissue layers: periosteum-sound, compact bone, and spongy bone.

  • Periosteum The periosteum is a glistening double layered tissue which covers the hard bone called the compact bone. The periosteum can not be seen by the naked eye. The periosteum is exceedingly important since its lower layer houses bone forming cells called osteoblast-sound. Also, the double layer serves as a place where tendons and ligaments can insert and anchor into the bone.
  • Compact Bone Compact bone seems very hard when seen by the normal eye, but at a microscopic level, the compact bone is very hollow. Canals called canaliculi-sound, which are filled with blood vessels, channel through the bone and all join to many major canals called Haversian canals-sound. These canals make the bone hollow. The compact bone is also rich with nerves. The hardness of the bone is made by spider like ostecytes-sound, mature bone cells, which surround the caniculli and Heversian canals.
  • Spongy Bone Spongy bone is not exactly spongy. Towards the center of the bone, the bone gets hollower. This is why it is called spongy. Located within the spongy bone is red bone marrow-sound and yellow bone marrow-sound. Red bone marrow is what makes red blood cells. The majority of the red bone marrow for an adult is located in the head of the femur and humerus. Yellow bone marrow is stored fat. This marrow can sometimes turn in to red bone marrow when a person is very anemic.

Parts of a bone
The diagram below shows a "typical" bone.

  • Hyaline cartilage
    Cartilage covers the ends of the bones. The smooth surfaces stops the bones rubbing together and absorbs shock.
  • Epiphysis
    This is the name for the extremity of the bones.
  • Cancellous bone
    This is sometimes called Spongy Bone and stores the red bone marrow where blood cells are manufactured.
  • Epiphyseal plate
    A line across the bone from where the bone grows in length.
  • Diaphysis
    The shaft of the bone.
  • Compact bone
    The word "compact" suggests a hard part of the bone. It surrounds the yellow bone marrow in the diaphysis and gives strength to the hollow part of the bone.
  • Periosteum
    Where there is no hyaline cartilage, the periosteum covers the surface of the bone. Ligaments and tendons are attached to the periosteum.
  • Medullary cavity
    This space inside the diaphysis contains the yellow bone marrow.

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Note: All information presented here has been obtained from publicly available medical resources and is here for reference purposes only. Healthbase does not claim to be a medical professional and does not provide any advice on any issues relating to medical treatment.