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More about Bones!

Most anatomy students love to study bones. They arent messy and they are very predictable. Throughout this course we will be study the various bones of the body as well as some of the specific features of bone, but heres a little introduction just to set us straight.

compact bone? Hint: cancellous bone looks like a rigid sponge.

Regions of Long Bone

(Martini, page 115, figure 5.2) Bone comes in several shapes, but when we study a generic bone, it is always a long bone. This is because long bones are the most complex. The following is a list of terms associated with a typical long bone. Look at figure 5.2 in Martini to fully comprehend them. Diaphysis: the long shaft of the bone. Epiphysis: the ends of the bone. Articular end (cartilages): cartilage coverings over the epiphyses when joints occur. Medullary cavity: the hollow cavity filled with fat (yellow bone marrow) that is unique to long bones. This cavity is hollowed out by osteoclasts and serves as an energy reserve as well as an interior padding. Red Bone Marrow: The region where all blood cells originate. Red bone marrow is pervasive throughout the entire bone in all bones but long bones. In long bones, it is essentially restricted to the epiphyseal ends. Yellow Bone Marrow: This is the fat found within the medullary cavity of long bone. The fat provides an energy source as well as insulation.

Types of Bone
(Martini, page 115, figure 5.2) We have already studied bone under the microscope, but now we get to study bone as a whole. Keep in mind that examining a bone is a little like examining a loaf of bread. Unless the bread is sliced, we can only see the crust. The soft interior is only revealed to us once the crust has been broken. Like bread, bone has a hard exterior and a spongy interior. The external bone, analogous to the crust, is called compact bone. Compact bone is the bone that contained the osteons we saw under the microscope. By contrast, cancellous bone (or spongy bone) is composed of trabeculae. The trabeculae are interwoven bony pillars composed of lamellae, but lack osteons. The trabeculae are surrounded by red bone marrow, although that is only obvious in living bone. To see cancellous bone, you must look at the interior of the bone. Take a look at the bones at your desk. These are old and dead, and have undergone significant abuse. Because they have been dropped, banged, stepped on and no doubt chewed, you will find places where the cancellous bone is exposed. Look for the cancellous bone now. Can you distinguish it from

Shapes and Locations of Bone

Martini, page 127, figure 5.13 Long bones: examples: major bones of the limbs. Short bones; examples: carpals and tarsals. Flat bones: Bones of the skull, the scapula, and ribs. Irregular bones: bones with an odd shape, such as facial bones and vertebrae. Sesamoid bones: Bones found within tendons. The patella is the most obvious sesamoid bone. Other sesamoid bones are found around the big toe. Sutural bones: Small unnamed bones found between sutures of the skull. They are often entirely missing.

Fossa: a dish like depression in a bone; often, but not always, the receiving end of an articulation. Example: the glenoid fossa. Notch: a pocket or groove along the edge of a bone, such as the greater sciatic notch.

Extensions, Edges, Bumps and Hooks

Process: In effect, any projection coming from a bone. Processes are often named specifically, such as the styloid process of the radius or the temporal process of the zygomatic bone. Beware that I regard any projecting surface on a bone as a process. Thats a clue for your upcoming exam! Tuberosity: a large rough bump or bumpy surface on a bone such as the ischial tuberosity. It comes form the term, tuber, like a potato. The early anatomists were into food. Tubercle: a small bump on the surface of bone, such as the greater tubercle of the radius. It means little potato. Food again! Spine: A ridge or projection on a bone, sometimes sharp, sometimes blunt. Gee, thanks. Examples include the anterior superior iliac spine or the spine of the scapula. Crest: A very prominent ridge such as the tibial crest or the iliac crest. Linea: A linear landmark such as the linea aspera of the femur.

Landmarks of Bones
Openings and Pockets
Foramen: a hole within bone, such as the foramen magnum of the skull. Think of George Foramen punching a hole through something. Sorry, George. Meatus or Canal: a hole that is part of a channel within bone, such as the external auditory meatus. Fissure: A slit within bone, such as the inferior orbital fissure of the orbit of the eye. Sinus: A hollow region within bone, such as the frontal and maxillary sinuses.


3 Epicondyle: a prominent region above a condylar joint. Examples: the medial and lateral epicondyles of the humerus and femur. Hamulus: a little hook, such as the hamulus of the pterygoid process. Cornu: a horn, such as the greater cornu of the hyoid. Protuberance: a bump or thickening, similar to a tuberosity, such as the external occipital protuberance. Facet or Articulating Surface. A flat or slightly cupped surface in an articulation. The facets of the vertebrae are examples. Trocanter: Specific to the femur, these are large tubercular processes. The term trochanter means runner. Body: The bulk of an irregular bone.

General regions
Head: one of the condylar ends, typically enlarged, such as the head of the humerus. Neck: the region below the head, such as the neck of the femur. Body: the general mass of the bone, such as the body of the vertebrae. Border: an edge of a flat bone, such as the medial border of the scapula. Angle: a point where the bony mass changes directions, such as the angle of the mandible. Ramus: a branch beyond the angel, such as the superior pubic ramus. Condyle: The term means knuckle, either a rounded articular end, or a prominent region below a facet. Examples include the medial condyle of the femur and the medial condyle of the tibia. Note that the latter is not an articular end. More about that later.