Bone Types/Classification

There are two types of bone, compact and spongy (trabecular or cancellous). Compact bone is dense bone that forms the outer shell of all bones and surrounds spongy bone. Spongy bone consists of spicules of bone enclosing cavities containing blood-forming cells (marrow).

Classification of bones is by shape.

1.Long bones are tubular (e.g., humerus in upper limb; femur in lower limb)

2.Short bones are cuboidal (e.g., bones of the wrist and ankle).

3.Flat bones consist of two compact bone plates separated by spongy bone (e.g., skull).

3.Irregular bones are bones with various shapes (e.g., bones of the face).

4.Sesamoid bones are round or oval bones that develop in tendons.

Bones are vascular and are innervated. Generally, an adjacent artery gives off a nutrient artery, usually one per bone, that directly enters the internal cavity of the bone and supplies the marrow, spongy bone, and inner layers of compact bone.

In addition, all bones are covered externally, except in the area of a joint where articular cartilage is present, by a fibrous connective tissue membrane called the periosteum, which has the unique capability of forming new bone.

This membranereceives blood vessels whose branches supply the outer layers of compact bone. A bone stripped of its periosteum will not survive. Nerves accompany the vessels that supply the bone and the periosteum. Most of the nerves passing into the internal cavity with the nutrient artery are vasomotor fibers that regulate blood flow. Bone itself has few sensory nerve fibers. On the other hand, the periosteum is supplied with numerous sensory nerve fibers and is very sensitive to any type of injury.

Developmentally, all bones come from mesenchyme by either intramembranous ossification, in which mesenchymal models of bones undergo ossification, or endochondral ossification, in which cartilaginous models of bones form from mesenchyme and undergo ossification.

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