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Long bones

Definition

Long bones are hard, dense bones that provide strength, structure, and mobility. The thigh bone (femur) is a long bone. A long bone has a shaft and two ends.

Some bones in the fingers are classified as long bones, even though they are short in length. This is due to the shape of the bones, not their size.

Long bones contain yellow bone marrow and red bone marrow, which produce blood cells.

References

Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 30.

Standring S. Functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal system. In: Standring S, ed. Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 41st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 5.


Review Date: 7/11/2019
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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