What's about our bone?

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What's about our bone?

Post by Cursakandine on Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:06 pm

Bones are rigid organs that form part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates. They function to move, support, and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals. Because bones come in a variety of shapes and have a complex internal and external structure, they are lightweight, yet strong and hard, in addition to fulfilling their many other functions. One of the types of tissues that makes up bone is the mineralized osseous tissue, also called bone tissue, that gives it rigidity and honeycomb-like three-dimensional internal structure. Other types of tissue found in bones include marrow, endosteum and periosteum, nerves, blood vessels and cartilage. There are 206 bones in the adult body and about 300 bones in the infant body.

Functions
Bones have eight main functions:

Protection — Bones can serve to protect internal organs, such as the skull protecting the brain or the ribs protecting the heart and lungs.
Shape — Bones provide a frame to keep the body supported.
Blood production — The marrow, located within the medullary cavity of long bones and the interstices of cancellous bone, produces blood cells in a process called haematopoiesis.
Mineral storage — Bones act as reserves of minerals important for the body, most notably calcium and phosphorus.
Movement — Bones, skeletal muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints function together to generate and transfer forces so that individual body parts or the whole body can be manipulated in three-dimensional space. The interaction between bone and muscle is studied in biomechanics.
Acid-base balance — Bone buffers the blood against excessive pH changes by absorbing or releasing alkaline salts.
Detoxification — Bone tissues can also store heavy metals and other foreign elements, removing them from the blood and reducing their effects on other tissues. These can later be gradually released for excretion.
Sound transduction — Bones are important in the mechanical aspect of hearing.

Characteristics
The primary tissue of bone, osseous tissue, is a relatively hard and lightweight composite material, formed mostly of calcium phosphate in the chemical arrangement termed calcium hydroxylapatite (this is the osseous tissue that gives bones their rigidity). It has relatively high compressive strength but poor tensile strength, meaning it resists pushing forces well, but not pulling forces. While bone is essentially brittle, it does have a significant degree of elasticity, contributed chiefly by collagen. All bones consist of living cells embedded in the mineralised organic matrix that makes up the osseous tissue.

Individual bones
Bone is not a uniformly solid material, but rather has some spaces between its hard elements.


Compact bone
The hard outer layer of bones is composed of compact bone tissue, so-called due to its minimal gaps and spaces. This tissue gives bones their smooth, white, and solid appearance, and accounts for 80% of the total bone mass of an adult skeleton. Compact bone may also be referred to as dense bone or cortical bone.


Trabecular bone
Filling the interior of the organ is the trabecular bone tissue (an open cell porous network also called cancellous or spongy bone) which is composed of a network of rod- and plate-like elements that make the overall organ lighter and allowing room for blood vessels and marrow. Trabecular bone accounts for the remaining 20% of total bone mass, but has nearly ten times the surface area of compact bone.

Five types of bones
There are five types of bones in the human body: long, short, flat, irregular and sesamoid.

Long bones are characterized by a shaft, the diaphysis, that is much greater in length than width. They are comprised mostly of compact bone and lesser amounts of marrow, which is located within the medullary cavity, and spongy bone. Most bones of the limbs, including those of the fingers and toes, are long bones. The exceptions are those of the wrist, ankle and kneecap.
Short bones are roughly cube-shaped, and have only a thin layer of compact bone surrounding a spongy interior. The bones of the wrist and ankle are short bones, as are the sesamoid bones.
Flat bones are thin and generally curved, with two parallel layers of compact bones sandwiching a layer of spongy bone. Most of the bones of the skull are flat bones, as is the sternum.
Irregular bones do not fit into the above categories. They consist of thin layers of compact bone surrounding a spongy interior. As implied by the name, their shapes are irregular and complicated. The bones of the spine and hips are irregular bones.
Sesamoid bones are bones embedded in tendons. Since they act to hold the tendon further away from the joint, the angle of the tendon is increased and thus the force of the muscle is increased. Examples of sesamoid bones are the patella and the pisiform

Bone marrow
There are two types of bone marrow, yellow and red, most commonly seen is red Bone marrow can be found in almost any bone that holds cancellous tissue. In newborns, all such bones are filled exclusively with red marrow , but as the child ages it is mostly replaced by yellow, or fatty marrow. In adults, red marrow is mostly found in the flat bones of the skull, the ribs, the vertebrae and pelvic bones.

Remodeling
Remodeling or bone turnover is the process of resorption followed by replacement of bone with little change in shape and occurs throughout a person's life. Osteoblasts and osteoclasts, coupled together via paracrine cell signalling, are referred to as bone remodeling units.


Purpose
The purpose of remodeling is to regulate calcium homeostasis, repair micro-damaged bones (from everyday stress) but also to shape and sculpture the skeleton during growth.


Calcium balance
The process of bone resorption by the osteoclasts releases stored calcium into the systemic circulation and is an important process in regulating calcium balance. As bone formation actively fixes circulating calcium in its mineral form, removing it from the bloodstream, resorption actively unfixes it thereby increasing circulating calcium levels. These processes occur in tandem at site-specific locations.


Repair
Repeated stress, such as weight-bearing exercise or bone healing, results in the bone thickening at the points of maximum stress (Wolff's law). It has been hypothesized that this is a result of bone's piezoelectric properties, which cause bone to generate small electrical potentials under stress.


Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease of bone - leading to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis, the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone microarchitecture is disrupted, and the amount and variety of non-collagenous proteins in bone is altered. Osteoporosis is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in women as a bone mineral density 2.5 standard deviations below peak bone mass (20-year-old sex-matched healthy person average) as measured by DXA; the term "established osteoporosis" includes the presence of a fragility fracture.Osteoporosis is most common in women after the menopause, when it is called postmenopausal osteoporosis, but may develop in men and premenopausal women in the presence of particular hormonal disorders and other chronic diseases or as a result of smoking and medications, specifically glucocorticoids, when the disease is called steroid- or glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (SIOP or GIOP).

Osteoporosis can be prevented with lifestyle advice and medication, and preventing falls in people with known or suspected osteoporosis is an established way to prevent fractures. Osteoporosis can be treated with bisphosphonates and various other medical treatments.
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