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BIOLOGY
Asked by James

What is the structure and function of the compact bone?

Cortical bone is the dense part of the bone structure that has tiny holes for osteocytes (bone cells) and accounts for 80% of our skeleton. The compact bone has a structure similar to tree trunks with their tightly rings of growth and as the name suggests the description of closely packed rings of cells called osteons. Forming concentric circles with small channels (called canaliculi) to allow for passageway through the tightly packed rings. The functions of compact bone apart from forming the protective shell around the spongy marrow insides (cancellous bone) and providing the rigidity and strength to long bones (arms and legs) is the movement and support of the skeleton. Without the compact bone we would all be very spongy! The compact bone in conjunction with the connective tissues of ligaments, tendons and muscles allows joints to be used as mechanical levers to gain momentum.

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Claire Jeffrey
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