The skeletal system in the human body is made of bones, tendons and ligaments, all of which are necessary for our body structure, movement and to protect our internal organs. We usually tend to take our bones for granted until one is injured, broken or they become brittle from old age. Here are few interesting facts regarding bones.
Fact 1: Bones Are Alive
When we observe skeletal bones outside of the body they seem dry and hard but the bones in our body are alive and made of living tissue. All through our lives the bones in our body are constantly growing and regenerating with the help of osteoblasts. These cells are constantly helping in new bone growth during youth, while osteoclasts tend to destroy bones. This constant cycle of creation and destruction is what is better known as bone remodeling.
Fact 2: Children Have More Bones Than Adults
Adults have 206 bones in their bodies, but a baby is born with about 300 bones and cartilage. The soft and flexible cartilage fuses together to form larger bones through a process called ossification, thereby reducing the overall number of bones by adulthood. By 25 the process of bone growth is done and your bones are as big as they will be through the rest of your life.
Fact 3: Femur is the Biggest Bin the Human Body
The femur is the long, weight bearing bone that extends from the hip to the knee. It is the strongest bone in the human body and can resist a force of up to 1,800 to 2,500 pounds. The femur contains both red and yellow marrow as it is a long bone.
Fact 4: Stirrup is the Smallest Bone in the Human Body
The stirrup bone is the smallest bone in the human body and one of the 3 bones that make up the middle ear, measuring only 2-3 millimeters. Shaped like a “U,” this innermost bone receives sound vibrations and transfers them along to the cochlea for the brain to interpret it.
Fact 5: Hands Have the Most Bones in the Body
The hands have over 27 bones each and along with the 26 bones in each foot, arranged very similarly, make up more than half the bones in the human body. The bones in the fingers and toes are called phalanges and the fingers each contain three bones, except for the two in the thumbs. Five metacarpal bones make up the palm. While the wrists consist of eight carpals, which are small nugget shaped bones arranged in irregular rows, held together by ligaments.
Fact 6: Hyoid is the Only Bone Not Connected to Another Bone in the Body
Situated between the chin and the thyroid cartilage, is a horseshoe shaped bone in the throat called hyoid. It is the only bone in the human body not connected to another bone. It works with the voice box and the tongue to help produce speech.
Fact 7: The Toe Bones are the Most Fragile in our Body
The bones in the small toe are very fragile and prone to breaking easily. Most people end up breaking a toe in their lifetime. The four toes contain three bones or phalanges, distal, middle and proximial phalanx, while the big toe contains only two, lacking the middle phalanx.
Fact 8: Osteoporosis is the Most Common Bone Disease
Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease characterized by low bone mass and decline of bone structure. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has estimated that roughly 10 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis and it causes more than 1.5 million fractures.
Osteoporosis can be diagnosed with a simple bone mineral density test and treated with lifestyle changes and use of prescription medication. When bones lose essential minerals, like calcium, it causes the mesh-like structure within bones to become thin, fragile and fracture easily.
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