<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

How bones grow in length

The epiphyseal plate is the area of growth in a long bone. It is a layer of hyaline cartilage where ossification occurs in immature bones. On the epiphyseal side of the epiphyseal plate, cartilage is formed. On the diaphyseal side, cartilage is ossified, and the diaphysis grows in length. The epiphyseal plate is composed of four zones of cells and activity ( [link] ). The reserve zone    is the region closest to the epiphyseal end of the plate and contains small chondrocytes within the matrix. These chondrocytes do not participate in bone growth but secure the epiphyseal plate to the osseous tissue of the epiphysis.

Longitudinal bone growth

This illustration shows the zones bordering the epiphyseal plate of the epiphysis. The topmost layer of the epiphysis is the reserve zone, which is colored blue because it is made of cartilage. Two arteries are shown travelling through this zone to supply nutrients to the second zone: the proliferative zone. Here, five chondrocytes are undergoing mitosis. They continually divide, producing five long rows of chondrocytes. The next zone is the zone of maturation and hypertrophy. Here, lipids, glycogen and alkaline phosphatase accumulate, causing the cartilaginous matrix to calcify. This zone consists of five rows of ten chondrocytes which are increasing in size as one moves down a row. The next zone is the calcified matrix. Here, the chondrocytes have hardened and die as the matrix around them has calcified. The bottommost row is the zone of ossification. This zone is actually part of the metaphysis. Arteries from the metaphysis branch through the newly-formed trabeculae in this zone. The newly deposited bone tissue at the top of the zone of ossification is called the primary spongiosa. The older bone at the bottom of the zone of ossification is labeled the secondary spongiosa.
The epiphyseal plate is responsible for longitudinal bone growth.

The proliferative zone    is the next layer toward the diaphysis and contains stacks of slightly larger chondrocytes. It makes new chondrocytes (via mitosis) to replace those that die at the diaphyseal end of the plate. Chondrocytes in the next layer, the zone of maturation and hypertrophy    , are older and larger than those in the proliferative zone. The more mature cells are situated closer to the diaphyseal end of the plate. The longitudinal growth of bone is a result of cellular division in the proliferative zone and the maturation of cells in the zone of maturation and hypertrophy.

Most of the chondrocytes in the zone of calcified matrix    , the zone closest to the diaphysis, are dead because the matrix around them has calcified. Capillaries and osteoblasts from the diaphysis penetrate this zone, and the osteoblasts secrete bone tissue on the remaining calcified cartilage. Thus, the zone of calcified matrix connects the epiphyseal plate to the diaphysis. A bone grows in length when osseous tissue is added to the diaphysis.

Bones continue to grow in length until early adulthood. The rate of growth is controlled by hormones, which will be discussed later. When the chondrocytes in the epiphyseal plate cease their proliferation and bone replaces the cartilage, longitudinal growth stops. All that remains of the epiphyseal plate is the epiphyseal line    ( [link] ).

Progression from epiphyseal plate to epiphyseal line

This illustration shows anterior views of a right and left femur. The left femur possesses a growth plate at the border of its distal metaphysis and distal epiphysis. The proximal epiphysis has two growth plates. The first is located below the head of the femur while the second is located below the trochanter, which is the bump on the lateral side of the femur. The right femur has the same plates as the left femur. However, the left femur represents a mature long bone. Here, growth is completed and the epiphyseal plate has degraded to a thin, faint, epiphyseal line.
As a bone matures, the epiphyseal plate progresses to an epiphyseal line. (a) Epiphyseal plates are visible in a growing bone. (b) Epiphyseal lines are the remnants of epiphyseal plates in a mature bone.

How bones grow in diameter

While bones are increasing in length, they are also increasing in diameter; growth in diameter can continue even after longitudinal growth ceases. This is called appositional growth. Osteoclasts resorb old bone that lines the medullary cavity, while osteoblasts, via intramembranous ossification, produce new bone tissue beneath the periosteum. The erosion of old bone along the medullary cavity and the deposition of new bone beneath the periosteum not only increase the diameter of the diaphysis but also increase the diameter of the medullary cavity. This process is called modeling    .

Bone remodeling

The process in which matrix is resorbed on one surface of a bone and deposited on another is known as bone modeling. Modeling primarily takes place during a bone’s growth. However, in adult life, bone undergoes remodeling    , in which resorption of old or damaged bone takes place on the same surface where osteoblasts lay new bone to replace that which is resorbed. Injury, exercise, and other activities lead to remodeling. Those influences are discussed later in the chapter, but even without injury or exercise, about 5 to 10 percent of the skeleton is remodeled annually just by destroying old bone and renewing it with fresh bone.

Diseases of the…

Skeletal system

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disease in which bones do not form properly and therefore are fragile and break easily. It is also called brittle bone disease. The disease is present from birth and affects a person throughout life.

The genetic mutation that causes OI affects the body’s production of collagen, one of the critical components of bone matrix. The severity of the disease can range from mild to severe. Those with the most severe forms of the disease sustain many more fractures than those with a mild form. Frequent and multiple fractures typically lead to bone deformities and short stature. Bowing of the long bones and curvature of the spine are also common in people afflicted with OI. Curvature of the spine makes breathing difficult because the lungs are compressed.

Because collagen is such an important structural protein in many parts of the body, people with OI may also experience fragile skin, weak muscles, loose joints, easy bruising, frequent nosebleeds, brittle teeth, blue sclera, and hearing loss. There is no known cure for OI. Treatment focuses on helping the person retain as much independence as possible while minimizing fractures and maximizing mobility. Toward that end, safe exercises, like swimming, in which the body is less likely to experience collisions or compressive forces, are recommended. Braces to support legs, ankles, knees, and wrists are used as needed. Canes, walkers, or wheelchairs can also help compensate for weaknesses.

When bones do break, casts, splints, or wraps are used. In some cases, metal rods may be surgically implanted into the long bones of the arms and legs. Research is currently being conducted on using bisphosphonates to treat OI. Smoking and being overweight are especially risky in people with OI, since smoking is known to weaken bones, and extra body weight puts additional stress on the bones.

Watch this video to see how a bone grows.

Chapter review

All bone formation is a replacement process. Embryos develop a cartilaginous skeleton and various membranes. During development, these are replaced by bone during the ossification process. In intramembranous ossification, bone develops directly from sheets of mesenchymal connective tissue. In endochondral ossification, bone develops by replacing hyaline cartilage. Activity in the epiphyseal plate enables bones to grow in length. Modeling allows bones to grow in diameter. Remodeling occurs as bone is resorbed and replaced by new bone. Osteogenesis imperfecta is a genetic disease in which collagen production is altered, resulting in fragile, brittle bones.

Questions & Answers

what's is reganal anatomy
Sose Reply
it is the study of interrelationships between different organs in a certain region of the body e.g abdomen
Taurai
this helps understand how these different organs work together to serve a particular body region
Taurai
hesi Tau
Precious
what is important of anatomy
Musah Reply
it's very important in any field of study or work the nurse who know anatomy well he will do good job
Abdelaziz
Can u please tell me how can I get Vanders mcqs bank
haseeb Reply
Is it possible to code a gene from two different species to come up with a specific trait?
Purityhalo
tissue,organ, system, cell
Amadi Reply
list carpal bones from proximal to distal
Meshack Reply
scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trepizium, trepizoid, capitate, hamate
Bhuvana
You are right
David
gr8 bro
Daniel
anyone explain lungs valium?
Sajid
when did the roman rule Britain
Rita Reply
what is function of the male respiratory system ?
poonam Reply
need to join this conversation
Collins
It's the same as the female respiratory system. Did you mean reproductive system. If you didn't, its for breathing.
Grace
what does increased glomerular filtration results from
Nancy Reply
what is the difference between cardiovascular and respiratory system
Bokenana Reply
cardiovascular deals with blood,blood vessels and heart while respiratory system deal with gas exchange
Erick
send me your app line
Erick
just make a class group and have online classes take turns in teaching
maz
send yo app lines so I make a group
Erick
ok
Erick
you're simply saying no to teaching one another
maz
what's an epithelial tissue
Romantic Reply
epithelial tissue are thin tissues that covers all the exposed surfaces of the body
Ireen
is anyone from high school?
Sahil
yes
Sulaiman
Final year
Royleen
med student
brian
South Africa
brian
final year too
brian
INDIA
Sahil
describe the structure of the human body in terms of six levels of organisation
Chulufya Reply
list the muscles of abdomen and their functions
HANNAH Reply
list the neck muscles and their functions
HANNAH
list the thy muscles and their functions
HANNAH
four muscles in facial expression
nah
internal obliques external obliques
Diana
describe flow of blood
osoma Reply
are arteries do pumping action to get are blood flow
isaiah
causes of occasional female muscle weakness and body pain
sammy
hey Venus ulcers description
patrick
what is conduction in the heart occur
Daud Reply
what is anatomy
Prin Reply
anatomy is the study of human body.?
Sittie
anatomy is the study of scientific human body's structure.
Sittie
Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body and the physical relationship between its constituent parts.
Maina
Anatomy is the study of the structures of body parts
Nepi
what are the principles of public health nursing?
tribel
Anatomy is the scientific study of human body parts .
Shakinah
Anatomy is the study of structure and relationship of the body structure
Stephen
Anatomy is the study of the structure and movement of the human body
renukha
energy generation molecular transport reproduction.
Sarah
Anatomy is the study of budy structures and their relationship.
Denis
Anatomy is the scientific study of human structure
jacinta
Anatomy ie the study of the human body and its functions.
Samuel
anatomy is the study of human body
Nadiiro
is the study of the structure of the body
Nqobile
I thank you guys for your studying.
Gibson
what is the biological meaning of come?
Gibson
anatomy is the study of human structure.
Diana
I need help!!! what are toxic wastes being removed from human urinary system apart from urine?
DAVINA
urea, amonia
Orsine

Get the best Anatomy & Physiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Anatomy & Physiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask