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Bones are a foundational element of human Anatomy. Most people understand that their skeleton contains calcium an inorganic mineral. What many overlook is that a bone is a human organ and it is very much alive. The bone is made up of active connective tissues that grow and regenerate on an average cycle. Like all tissues in the body an individuals bones will have completely restructured themselves within 7 to 10 years.
Bones provide a storage warehouse for calcium, phosphate and other minerals required for bodily functions such as the firing of a neuron or the contraction of a muscle. They are also the site of Hematopoiesis or blood cell formation. Approximately 1 trillion blood cells are formed every day of our lives within our red bone marrow.
Bones also store energy as fat within the medullary cavity of the long bone and is referred to as yellow marrow. Bones play an important role in homeostasis by regulating blood calcium levels and production of the hormone osteocalcin. Osteocalcin regulates bone formation and helps to prevent blood sugar spikes, glucose intolerance and diabetes.
The human body contains on average 206 bones. Anatomists divide the bones into to anatomic groups the Axial skeleton and the Appendicular skeleton. There are 80 bones in the axial skeleton which includes the bones of the skull, rib cage and vertebral column. The skull and rib cage provide protection for the vital organs of the body.
The appendicular skeleton includes every thing else. More specifically the bones that make up our arms and legs. These are the bones that help us move around and do things for ourselves and with each other. Bones are next classified by anatomists based on their shape.
Long bones are much longer than they are wide and make up much of the appendicular skeleton. Examples are the arms humerus and, radius & ulna of the forearm or the thighs femur and tibia & fibula of the leg. The bones that make up your hand and fingers are the metacarpals and phalanges. These bones are also considered long bones.
Short bones are found in the wrist and ankles. The wrist contains two rows of 4 carpal bones totaling 8. The ankle which contains 7 tarsal bones are also considered short bones. Flat bones are thinner like the sternum, cranial bones and scapula which is also considered an irregular bone.
Irregular shaped bones can be found in the pelvis and the bones that make up the spinal column called vertebra. Even though bones come in various shapes and sizes they all contain an out layer of compact bone covering an inner layer of coarse spongy bone made up of tiny cross hatching support called trabeculea. Spongy bone helps the bones deal with structural stress and provides cavities for the red bone marrow.
References and Resources
YouTube Published on May 18, 2015
Today Hank explains the skeletal system and why astronauts Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are out in space studying it. He talks about the anatomy of the skeletal system, including the flat, short, and irregular bones, and their individual arrangements of compact and spongy bone. He'll also cover the microanatomy of bones, particularly the osteons and their inner lamella. And finally he will introduce the process of bone remodeling, which is carried out by crews of osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts.
Table of Contents
Anatomy of the Skeletal System 2:33
Flat, Short, and Irregular Bones 3:11
Arrangements of Compact and Spongy Bone 4:22
Osteons and Their Inner Lamella 5:05
Bone Remodeling 7:28
Osteocytes, Osteoblasts, and Osteoclasts 6:03
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