Bone Function, Development, and Growth


appositional growth

bone growth when osteoblasts in the periosteum deposit new bone matrix layers onto already-formed layers of the outer surface of bone

bone marking

one of several structures used to determine where muscles and ligaments attach, as well as where and how bones join together


hormone released from the thyroid that activates osteoblasts to remove calcium from the blood and deposit it into newly formed bone tissue

canaliculus (plural, canaliculi)

tiny passages that join the lacunae to the Haversian canal and to each other

compact bone

hard bone tissue that provides rigid strength for the bones


dip or trench within the bone surface that allows for nerves and blood vessels to pass through


layer of connective tissue that covers the internal cavities and canals of bone

epiphyseal plate

location where bone growth occurs, found between the epiphysis and the diaphysis

flat bone

bone that is flat in shape and provides protection or serves as a large area for muscle attachment

Haversian canal

opening through the center of each osteon that contains nerves and blood vessels that signal and nourish the osteon


large blood clot at the site of a break in bone. It results from the destruction of periosteum and blood vessels at the break site.


formation of red blood cells in the marrow of certain bones


primary inorganic component of bone that makes it hard. It is a mineral salt made mostly of calcium phosphate.

interstitial growth

lengthening of bone resulting from the growth of cartilage and its replacement with bone tissue

irregular bone

does not have a recognizable shape and serves a variety of functions, including protection, support, and points of muscle attachment

lacuna (plural, lacunae)

space at the juncture of each lamella where osteocytes can be found

lamella (plural, lamellae)

layer (often concentric) of bone connective tissue and a structural component of the osteon; forms a strong mesh along with collagen that adds significant strength to bone

long bone

bone that has two knobbed ends with a long shaft between them. Long bones are longer than they are wide and provide strength, structure, and mobility.


process of bone tissue formation


cell that forms new bone tissue by secreting a matrix made of collagen and calcium-binding proteins


cell that destroys existing bone, making room for the deposition of new bone cells


mature bone cell that is found in the spaces of the bone matrix that monitor and maintain the bone matrix. Osteocytes signal to osteoblasts to increase bone deposition.


basic functional unit of mature bone. It is a long tube that runs parallel to the axis of bone and serves as a support beam to hold the weight of the bone.

osteoprogenitor cell

stem cell that can produce cells that develop into osteoblasts


protective layer that surrounds the outer surface of a bone


area of the bone that sticks up off the surface


process by which osteoclasts break down bone tissue, releasing calcium into the blood

short bone

bone that is among the smallest bones in the body; often functions to reduce friction at a joint or to prevent tearing of tendons

spongy bone

type of bone composed of a collection of trabeculae bound together

trabecula (plural, trabeculae)

open lattice of rod-like connective tissue that forms spongy bone