The growing bone
The formation and growth of bones begins early in the embryonic stage and bones continue to grow until an individual reaches maturity. Although they may seem lifeless and unchanging, bones are living parts of the body that are essential for calcium
regulation, blood cell
formation and structural support.
Factors affecting bone growth
Size of muscles
- Gravity causes additional stress on load-bearing bones, causing them to be thicker
The process of bone formation and growth
- Bones form projections for muscle attachment if they are attachment points for large muscles
Click here to see a tutorial about bone formation and growth
- Chondroblasts build the initial template for bone formation in the embryonic stage. Hyaline cartilage is used as the “model” upon which osteoblasts build bone matrix.
- As the fetus grows, the cartilage is digested making a bone-enclosed cavity in the medulla
- At birth, only the epiphyseal plate and articular cartilage have not been converted to bone. New cartilage is formed continuously at both of these locations, making the bone longer.
- To widen the bone, osteoblasts in the periosteum add bone tissue to the outside of the bone shaft.
- Once an osteoblast has grown bone around itself and becomes trapped in bone matrix, it differentiates into a mature osteocyte.