Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology

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The adult human body consists of 206 bones and the infant body would have about 270. These structures are located in various parts of the body and are involved with different types of functions that play a vital part in the maintenance and every day function of the body. Among some of the functions it performs, supporting the movements, protection, giving the shape and structure to the body and last but yet probably one of the most vital functions, the production of red and white blood cells within its tissues can be named significant.

Not all bones are functionally or structurally significant and some may not even have a designated function nor it would be considered vital. At the same time, there may be variations in the presence or absence of certain bones as well as the size and shape of the bones as well. Thus, there can be individual variations in the bone structure according to its basic classification.

There can be 5 types of bones in the human body and these are as follows:

-Long bones

Long bones are bones that have a structure of two relatively wider ends called the heads and a relatively lengthier portion in the middle called the shaft or the body. But, it should not be mistaken that, the term long bone is used only in describing large and lengthier bones but it is also used to describe bones in the fingers as well. Thus, the classification taken in to account the shape and the structure of a bone rather than its size and length. The structure of the long bones is made up of a firm and stronger outer layer called the compact bone and a middle portion called the spongy bone. This will provide the much needed strength and light weight to these bones.

The bone performs a vital part in providing leverage during the movements and in certain instances, the inner tissues of the long bones called the ‘bone marrow’ will facilitate production of white and red blood cells that makes up the circulation.

-Short bones

These are mainly involved in finer movements and are located in the wrists and the ankles. They are made up of mainly spongy bones and usually are of cylindrical appearance. They are relatively smaller than the long bones and would not be accommodating a bone marrow.

-Flat bones

As the name suggest, these are bones which appear flatter and are present in the form of skull bones, scapulae, clavicle or the collar bones, sternum or the breast bone…etc. These are geared to provide protection to the underlying organs and would consist mostly of spongy bones and a more firm compact bone.

-Irregular bones

The bones of the vertebra will consist of many irregular bones and they would provide structural support as well as vital protection to the delicate structures such as the spine. The classification is based on the appearance and its non alignment to any of the other classifications.

-Sesamoid bones

These are rudimentary type of bones which are present within tendons of certain muscles and its function is difficult to explain. The small muscles of the fingers are one location which consists of such a bone.

More about this author: Dr Pandula Siribaddana

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