10 facts about your bones that may fascinate you.
How much do you know about your skeleton and its bones? Most of us don’t think about our inner architecture every day, much like working or shopping in a multistory building without thinking about the framework of steel that supports it. Here are ten fascinating facts about your bones:
- You are born with about 300 bones, but many of them “fuse” so you have 206 as an adult.
- 51% of your bones are in your hands and feet (27 bones per hand and wrist, 26 bones per foot).
- Smoking can lead to loss of bone density, or osteoporosis.
- The plates of bone that form your skull meet at joints. However, unlike other moveable joints where bones meet – such as the knee – the skull joints don’t move.
- The strongest bone in your body is in your thigh. It is the long bone called that femur, and it can resist forces as much as 2500 pounds.
- The femur is a hard bone to break, but almost everyone breaks a toe bone. There isn’t much you can do except let it heal on its own.
- Evidence of bone tumors goes back 120,000 years, due to the discovery of a Neanderthal rib that showed a bone tumor.
- Humans and other animals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are called vertebrates because we all have a backbone and an internal skeleton. It sounds like a lot of skeletons, but taken all together we still account for only 2% of all living things. Insects, arachnids (8-legged creatures), mollusks like clams and oysters, etc. far outnumber vertebrates.
- Bones are strong, but tooth enamel is the strongest and hardest substance in the body.
- The inside of bones is made up of a spongy material called marrow. In fact, marrow acts as a factory, producing red blood cells to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Every second, marrow manufactures 2,000,000 red blood cells.
As with most body parts, we tend to become unaware of them until a problem occurs. Thankfully, diseases of the bone are relatively uncommon. The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, or bones that become thin and easier to break; it mostly occurs in postmenopausal women, though regular weight-bearing exercise and sufficient dietary calcium can help prevent or delay its onset. Bones can also get infections and cancer. Bone cancer has two basic types: a) cancer that begins in the bone, and b) cancer that starts in another location such as the prostate or breast, but spreads to the bone (called bone metastasis or bone mets).
There are effective treatments to help control the growth, spread and pain of bone mets. The Sperling Medical Group offers a noninvasive, MRI-guided treatment using Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) to destroy localized bone mets and alleviate associated pain. For more information, contact the Sperling Medical Group.
- Bone mets