Transverse Sections Of The Humerus
Cartilage and Bones
The skeleton is composed of cartilages and bones. Cartilage is a resilient, semirigid form of connective tissue that forms parts of the skeleton where more flexibility is required—for example, where the costal cartilages attach the ribs to the sternum. Also, the articulating surfaces (bearing surfaces) of bones participating in a synovial joint are capped with articular cartilage that provides smooth, low-friction, gliding surfaces for free movement. Blood vessels do not enter cartilage (i.e., it is avascular ); consequently, its cells obtain oxygen and nutrients by diffusion. The proportion of bone and cartilage in the skeleton changes as the body grows; the younger a person is, the more cartilage he or she has. The bones of a newborn are soft and flexible because they are mostly composed of cartilage.
Bone , a living tissue, is a highly specialized, hard form of connective tissue that makes up most of the skeleton. Bones of the adult skeleton provide
- Support for the body and its vital cavities; it is the chief supporting tissue of the body.
- Protection for vital structures (e.g., the heart).
- The mechanical basis for movement (leverage).
- Storage for salts (e.g., calcium).
- A continuous supply of new blood cells (produced by the marrow in the medullary cavity of many bones).
A fibrous connective tissue covering surrounds each skeletal element like a sleeve, except where articular cartilage occurs; that surrounding bones is periosteum, whereas that around cartilage is perichondrium . The periosteum and perichondrium nourish the external aspects of the skeletal tissue. They are capable of laying down more cartilage or bone (particularly during fracture healing) and provide the interface for attachment of tendons and ligaments .
The two types of bone are compact bone and spongy (trabecular) bone . They are distinguished by the relative amount of solid matter and by the number and size of the spaces they contain. All bones have a superficial thin layer of compact bone around a central mass of spongy bone, except where the latter is replaced by a medullary (marrow) cavity . Within the medullary cavity of adult bones, and between the spicules (trabeculae) of spongy bone, yellow (fatty) or red (blood cell and platelet forming) bone marrow —or a combination of both—is found.
The shaft of a living bone is a tube of compact bone that surrounds a medullary cavity.
The architecture and proportion of compact and spongy bone vary according to function. Compact bone provides strength for weight bearing. In long bones designed for rigidity and attachment of muscles and ligaments, the amount of compact bone is greatest near the middle of the shaft where the bones are liable to buckle. In addition, long bones have elevations (e.g., ridges, crests, and tubercles ) that serve as buttresses (supports) where large muscles attach. Living bones have some elasticity (flexibility) and great rigidity (hardness).
Source: Clinically Oriented Anatomy
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