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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 is the differences between anabolism and catabolism?
Ikenze Reply
what are steroid hormones
Mwesige
it doesn't have nothing to do with are sex hormones
isaiah
it's something with food we eat,the air we breathe into the energy we need to function
isaiah
There are two parts to metabolism: Catabolism and Anabolism. An example of Anabolism is steroids. They build muscle. Where as Catabolism is the dagratative process or the breakdown process.
Eric
Yes, in a way. Insulin is catabolic when it comes to glucose. Where as glucacon is anabolic when it comes to sugar. The two words are like the prepositions up and down. They describe a position. In which can be used to describe anything. However, they are biologic terms to describe metabolism.
Eric
The food analogy has merrit. The conversation if food and oxygen into energy. Is a part of our metabolism called cellular respiration. In which is a METABOLIC PROCESS. Respiration has many steps and products. So, it is both anabolic and catabolic.
Eric
FOR ALL OF MY SCIENTIST, ALWAYS BREAK UP WORDS YOU DO NOT KNOW. BREAK THEM UP INTO THEIR BASE, PREFIX AND SUFIX. LET'S USE HYDROLYSIS. HYDRO MEANS WATER AND LYSIS MEANS TO BREAK DOWN. SO A HYDROLYTIC REACTION IS ONE WHERE WATER IS BROKEN DOWN.
Eric
I hope my explanation helped.
Eric
Yes sr
JERRY
whats the difference between regional anatomy and systematic anatomy?
mitchxidyllic Reply
Regional anatomy is the scientific study of the structure of a particular region of the body, e.g the heart. systematic anatomy is the scientific study of the structure of a particular body system. e.g The reproductive system.
Ikenze
Cells are the building blocks of life. A city is a living organism, hypotheticly. You have Ave, Streets, Blvd, Rd, Pkwy and Interstates. These would be transportation systems. The human body is the same way. You can study the whole body. Or you can study the respiratory system, nervous system, etc.
Eric
Some of these systems overlap, of course. As a doctor, it is important to understand them individually. But it is most important to understand them as a whole.
Eric
how many litres of blood does a human body have
George Reply
hi
Sweetlin
hliii
Mohd
there are around 10.5p.(5literes) adult body
Shubu
what is homeostasis
Antwi Reply
it is self regulating ability of the body to adjust to the surroundings
Angela
it is like maintaining an equilibrium type of environment between the inside and outside of the body, so that our body can adjust to the external environmental changes
Angela
this is the negative feedback loop of the body,.... that naturally helps to keep the body in a stable or constant internal environment.
Matthew
this is the activities in the body that keeps the internal environment of the body in equilibrium or to keep it constant.
Ikenze
You also have negative feed back loops. These are rare in the human body.
Eric
list four long bones
Mary Reply
the four long bones are: tibia, fibula, femur, and humerus.
Isaac
from Zambia
Mary
femur, radius , ulnar, humerus
Om
humerus, femur, tibia and fibula
Sheryl
Humerus,redius,ulnar,in hand. Femur,tibia,fibula in leg. it is long bone.
Sneha
there is contradiction between radius ulna & tibia fibula because of the variation in the upper and lower limb of the according to growth and development of human body so humerus & femur are longer bones ( ex you can see Michael phaleps upper limb is longer than the lower limb)
Prashant
if anyone having dout so he she can please explain it to me
Prashant
which one want explain something
Dr
sir post which I have send look at it & tell is it correct or not
Prashant
about four long bones is the topic
Prashant
femur, humerus, tibia and fibula
Ikenze
Radius and ulnar are in the lower arm. However the phalanges, which are the bones in the fingers, are a part of the hand. The bones in the hand would be refered to as the metacarpels.
Eric
One way to remember the shorter bones of the lower arm is. The radial and ulnar nerves run in the arm. These nerves run adjacent to the bones with the same name.
Eric
how are you doing
Rekah Reply
hi everyone.
AR
Im new here, I came from the philippines. I study nursing. Im a first year student.
AR
really
Isaac
so what help do you want
Isaac
yeah I came from the philippines..and I have struggle about this subject the anatomy and physiology because I dont any books that I barrowed with. I cant afford buy books.
AR
hii
Meher
I'm from India
Jamy
I struggle with this subject
Jamy
can I ask here a question I hope you can help me because I dont have any references/books that I should see or read it.
AR
AR
Meher
you are from india nice to talk to you jamy.
AR
Alright Always drop your concerns here and they will be addressed. Thanks sister.
Isaac
nice meeting with you
Jamy
I am also from India
shiv
thank you Isaac.
AR
yes Meher?
AR
you are all india
AR
By the way I have question
AR
describe a person in anatomical position?
AR
i come from Ghana
Isaac
are you all nursing students?
AR
no I'm pharmacy student
Jamy
oh nice.
AR
yes
shiv
jamy me too
Meher
yes
shiv
yes
shiv
my name is sweety
Jamy
you have any chat group that we can talk there.
AR
Anatomical position is the description of any region or part of the body in a specific stance. In the anatomical position, the body is upright, directly facing the observer, feet flat and directed forward. The upper limbs are at the body's sides with the palms facing forward. The standard anatomic
Isaac
yes
shiv
jamy is my nick name
Jamy
I am a nursing student
Isaac
thank you Isaac
AR
Final year, level 400
Isaac
ohh what year are you now?
AR
Nice
AR
welcome madam
Isaac
do you have any chat group here
AR
describe the six levels of organization of the body and describe the major characteristics of each level?
AR
ahh its okay jammy
AR
jammy i am from kashmir nd u
Meher
It is convenient to consider the structures of the body in terms of fundamental levels of organization that increase in complexity, such as (from smallest to largest): chemicals, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and an organism.
Isaac
hi
Yaminah
am from somalia
Yaminah
5th year in medical student nice to meet ya all
Yaminah
thxs yaminah
Meher
y not.. jamy for what purpose...?
Meher
inbox me i will guide u ...?
Meher
i also dont know...?
Meher
open this app - click 'start learning' - click 'preface' - select the chat that you wanna join into I guess that is it !
Angela
Hello am from Sierra Leone
junisa
I am from Kerala
Angela
I am from india
Om
tell the easyst way to learn anatomy
Khaliif Reply
try to draw 👌
Rahil
what
shiv
learn subject with drawing anatomy diagrams some with flow chart i dont say it is easiest way bt yes u can rember for longer period
Shakerah
ooh
shiv
Can u say me parturation
Sweetlin
parturition is one of the 7 stages of human reproduction. parturition is actually that last or the 7th stage, that is giving birth to the baby or the delivery of the baby.
Angela
Mr. khaliff.. never ever use a short cut or easiest way to Acquire knowledge.. the knowledge what we got from an easiest way , cuz it will be become temporary, not permanent.. especially in the anatomy.. cuz it's a complex subject.. you can shortlist as per your syllabus, not yourself..
Sanjith
I think shakeerah's ideology of learning anatomy is one of a best method to easy learning.. and try to share with your friends or here, what you've acknowledged each day.. thankyu
Sanjith
I am agree with that point
shiv
if u get time aftr learning this 2_3 ppl join , make group make questions if urself even if its silly make it as flash card sometimes u fail , its okay. dont be less heart. u vl do it anyway if u concentrate. bt choosing ppl or the selection of ppl during studying it really matters.
Shakerah
if u get time aftr learning this 2_3 ppl join , make group make questions if urself even if its silly make it as flash card sometimes u fail , its okay. u vl do it anyway if u concentrate. bt choosing ppl or the selection of ppl during studying it really matters.
Shakerah
😊
Sanjith
what Tk
shiv
good night all... stay safe.. bye
Sanjith
Understand the basic function of a cell. Understand the different types of cells. You are not going to have a nerve cell doing gas exchange in the alveolar. You are not going to have a nerve cell protecting the body, in the integamentary system. Understanding this dictates location & function.
Eric
be. good xx xx xx xx friend cg in
Rael
hello im new here, im a nursing student
SHUGA Reply
ooh
shiv
welcome
shiv
wlcm
Rahil
dub
Ndowmi
maleria
Ndowmi
Anopheles
shiv
welcome shuga
Om
please am new here. Am a nurse awaiting to be posted .
Ntiamoah
hi I'm new here too
faleke
FAKE DrLUPO thank you
faleke
hello guys
Chuks
hello guys 🤗
Sneha
hello
Chuks
whose in Nigeria
Chuks
🙋🙋
faleke
what is inner breeding
Vijay Reply
you don't have any answer
Vijay
please don't waste my time
Vijay
wait
shiv
inbreeding is mating or breeding with organism that are genetically related
shiv
s
Pankaj
who this SRY
Pankaj
inner breeding is breeding among the same species of organisms
Anna
*inbreeding
Anna
yes same speciesor same genetic organism
shiv
description of the menstruation cycle
Namyalo Reply
explain the menstruation cycle
Namyalo
explain the menstrual cycle
Ugo
menstrual cycle is came due to FSH and LH
shiv
fsh
Ndowmi
This is the periodic release of waste(blood) from the reproductive organ of the females (human) for a period of some days, after which or during then, ovulation takes place, which is the release of eggs from the ovaries for fertilization by the spermatozoa.
Ikenze
Description of menestraul cycle
Amos Reply
i want to improve my study i like this app i interest physiology and anatomy
Su Reply
I also like this app am really interested in learning anatomy and physiology.
Johny
I have this book with my anatomy class it's awesome! also if look at crashcourse anatomy on you tube!
AMY
what the name
isaiah
umesh. rede
Rede
what is heart and long type answer
Lalita Reply
its a organ in the body
ay
describe about hear chambers.. valves.. arteries.. veins.. circulation.. inferior/superior venacava, aorta., tricuspid valve, mitral valve. pulmonary artery/vein, how oxigenation occur,systolic presure diastolic pressure.. stroke volume,cardiac output, ets.. heart located in which place, describe it
Sanjith
if you describe what I cited up, thogh you can write a long type answer about heart
Sanjith
hi
Riyaz
autonomic functions took over
Vanarith Reply
What did they take over?
Eric
what is the average volume of blood in men and why does it varrie from women?
Esther Reply
what is the average volume of blood in men
Esther
5to6liter
Sarita
5to6liter dt
Sarita
umesh. rede
Rede
estimated at 5.5litres
Ikenze

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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