Bone, or osseous tissue, is a connective tissue that constitutes the endoskeleton. It contains specialized cells and a matrix of mineral salts and collagen fibers.
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The mineral salts primarily include hydroxyapatite, a mineral formed from calcium phosphate. Calcification is the process of deposition of mineral salts on the collagen fiber matrix that crystallizes and hardens the tissue. The process of calcification only occurs in the presence of collagen fibers.
The bones of the human skeleton are classified by their shape: long bones, short bones, flat bones, sutural bones, sesamoid bones, and irregular bones (Figure 19.16).
Long bones are longer than they are wide and have a shaft and two ends. The diaphysis, or central shaft, contains bone marrow in a marrow cavity. The rounded ends, ns epiphyses, are covered with articular cartilage and are filled with red bone marrow, which produces blood cells (Figure 19.17). Most of the limb bones are long bones—for example, the femur, tibia, ulna, and radius. Exceptions to this include the patella and the bones of the wrist and ankle.
Short bones, or cuboidal bones, are bones that are the same width and length, giving them a cube-like shape. For example, the bones of the wrist (carpals) and ankle (tarsals) are short bones (Figure 19.16).
Flat bones are thin and relatively broad bones that are found where extensive protection of organs is required or where broad surfaces of muscle attachment are required. Examples of flat bones are the sternum (breast bone), ribs, scapulae (shoulder blades), and the roof of the skull (Figure 19.16).
Irregular bones are bones with complex shapes. These bones may have short, flat, notched, or ridged surfaces. Examples of irregular bones are the vertebrae, hip bones, and several skull bones.
Sesamoid bones are small, flat bones and are shaped similarly to a sesame seed. The patellae are sesamoid bones (Figure 19.18). Sesamoid bones develop inside tendons and may be found near joints at the knees, hands, and feet.
Whereas compact bone tissue forms the outer layer of all bones, spongy bone or cancellous bone forms the inner layer of all bones. Spongy bone tissue does not contain osteons that constitute compact bone tissue. Instead, it consists of trabeculae, which are lamellae that are arranged as rods or plates. Red bone marrow is found between the trabuculae. Blood vessels within this tissue deliver nutrients to osteocytes and remove waste. The red bone marrow of the femur and the interior of other large bones, such as the ileum, forms blood cells.
Spongy bone reduces the density of bone and allows the ends of long bones to compress as the result of stresses applied to the bone. Spongy bone is prominent in areas of bones that are not heavily stressed or where stresses arrive from many directions. The epiphyses of bones, such as the neck of the femur, are subject to stress from many directions. Imagine laying a heavy framed picture flat on the floor. You could hold up one side of the picture with a toothpick if the toothpick was perpendicular to the floor and the picture. Now drill a hole and stick the toothpick into the wall to hang up the picture. In this case, the function of the toothpick is to transmit the downward pressure of the picture to the wall. The force on the picture is straight down to the floor, but the force on the toothpick is both the picture wire pulling down and the bottom of the hole in the wall pushing up. The toothpick will break off right at the wall.
The neck of the femur is horizontal like the toothpick in the wall. The weight of the body pushes it down near the joint, but the vertical diaphysis of the femur pushes it up at the other end. The neck of the femur must be strong enough to transfer the downward force of the body weight horizontally to the vertical shaft of the femur (Figure 19.20).
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