Chapter I - Bony Organization

An average adult skeleton has 206 bones, which weigh only 20 pounds but yet stronger than concrete. On the
other hand, men and women both have the same number of muscles (around 600). Still, men look more muscular
than women, and they have 40 per cent of their weight in the form of muscles as compared to 23 per cent of the
women. As mentioned earlier, the skeleton system not only supports the body but also protects the vital internal
organs like the brain which is safe and sound within the skull and the heart and lungs within the rib cage. Bones
along with their attachments with muscles, tendons, and ligaments perform the most important function of
providing movement and that too with precise coordination.

Human Bone
Bone is a relatively hard and lightweight composite material, formed mostly of calcium phosphate in the chemical
arrangement termed calcium hydroxyapatite. It has relatively high compressive strength but poor tensile strength.
While bone is essentially brittle, it does have a degree of significant elasticity contributed by its organic
components (chiefly collagen). Bone has an internal mesh-like structure, the density of which may vary at different

Bone can be either compact or cancellous (spongy). Cortical (outer layer) bone is compact; the two terms are often
used interchangeably. Cortical bone makes up a large portion of skeletal mass; but, because of its density, it has a
low surface area. Cancellous bone is trabecular (honeycomb structure). It has a relatively high surface area, but
forms a smaller portion of the skeleton.

Bone can also be either woven or lamellar. Woven bone is put down rapidly during growth or repair. It is so called
because its fibers are aligned at random, and as a result has low strength. In contrast lamellar bone has parallel
fibers and is much stronger. Woven bone is often replaced by lamellar bone as growth continues.

Long bones are tubular in structure (e.g. the tibia). The central shaft of a long bone is called the diaphysis,
and has a hollow middle—the medullar cavity filled with bone marrow. Surrounding the medullar cavity is
a thin layer of cancellous bone that also contains marrow. The extremities of the bone are called the
epiphyses and are mostly cancellous bone covered by a relatively thin cortical of compact bone. In
children, the bones are filled with red marrow, which is gradually replaced with yellow marrow as the child

Short bones (e.g. finger bones) have a similar structure to long bones, except that they have no medullar

Flat bones (e.g. the skull and ribs) consist of two layers of compact bone with a zone of cancellous bone
sandwiched between them.

Irregular bones are bones, which do not conform to any of the previous forms (e.g. vertebrae).

All bones consist of living cells embedded in a mineralized organic matrix that makes up the main bone material.
Bone cells are called osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts.
Osteoblasts are typically viewed as bone forming cells. They are located near to the surface of bone and their
functions are to make osteoid and manufacture hormones such as prostaglandin, which act on bone itself.
Osteoblasts are mononucleate.

Osteoclasts If osteoblasts can be described as bone forming cells. genetics. Osteocytes are networked to each other via long processes that occupy tiny canals called canaliculi. traumatic. Apart from the mechanical considerations. is the most abundant cell found in bone. a star-shaped cell. multinucleated cells located on bone surfaces in what are called Howship's lacunae. they become osteocytes. At the same time it functions as the storehouse for calcium and other minerals besides producing the vital blood cells. intrinsic. It is the framework on which the whole body rests besides providing protection to vital internal organs. the osteoclasts can be described as bone destroying cells. Osteoclasts are large. . and biomechanical factors involved. which are used for exchange of nutrients and waste. and recurrent injuries and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system. it also is concerned with the pathology. Bone cells is the branch of surgery concerned with acute. Truly. Osteocyte An osteocyte. or resorption pits. chronic. the marvel that human skeletal system exhibits is incomparable. its muscular and bone parts. These lacunae. Once osteoblasts become trapped in the matrix they secrete. extrinsic. The space that an osteocyte occupies is called a lacuna (Latin for a pit). are left behind after the breakdown of bone and often present as scalloped surfaces. Their main function involves maintaining the bone tissue.