Most of our understanding of the human skeleton is limited to what we see around Halloween, but there are many interesting facts about our bones. Here are a few:
• Adults have 206 bones in their bodies, but the same is not true for infants. The skeleton of a newborn has approximately 300 bones. Over time, the “extra” bones in infants fuse to form larger bones, reducing the overall number of bones to 206 by adulthood.
• Each hand has 27 bones, and each foot has 26, which means that together the body’s two hands and two feet have 106 bones. The hands and feet contain more than half of the bones in your entire body.
• The largest, and by most accounts, the strongest bone is the thigh bone, or femur. It is roughly over 25% of our total height. The smallest bone in the human body is the staples (or stirrup) bone, found in the middle ear. It is only 2.8 millimeters long.
• Most adults have 24 ribs (12 pairs), but about one in every 500 people has an extra rib, called a cervical rib. This extra rib can cause health issues for some if it squashes nearby blood vessels or nerves. Symptoms are marked by pain in the shoulder or neck, loss of limb feeling, blood clots and other problems.
• Every bone is connected to another bone — with one exception. The hyoid is a horseshoe –shaped bone found in the throat, located between the chin and the thyroid cartilage. It’s the only bone in the human body not connected to another bone. The hyoid is important for speech because of it works with the larynx (voice box) and tongue to produce the range of human vocalizations.
• Bones are strong and rigid – In fact, they are stronger than steel, but they are not the hardest substance in the body. That title goes to another part of the skeletal system; tooth enamel. This substance protects the crown of teeth and owes its strength to its high concentration of minerals.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.