Did you know that the number of bones in the body decreases with age?  How many do we have?

Did you know that the number of bones in the body decreases with age? How many do we have?

Have you ever wondered how many bones in the human body? This number is not always the same. At birth, it is much larger, oddly enough.

“There are approximately 100 more bones in adults than adults,” estimates orthopedic surgeon Gustavo Tado Sanchez, director of SBTO (Brazilian Orthopedic Society). An adult person has 206 bones in the body.

“Children have a large portion of bone made up of cartilage and a separate growth nucleus, and this makes the number of bones through this division higher in the number of children. And during growth, these nuclei fuse, in addition to normal bone growth,” she says.

Likewise, this merger continues to happen over the years, “reducing” that number. “No bones ‘disappear’. But, starting at the age of 40, some bones fuse and lose their ability to independently move,” explains Mateus Saito, an orthopedic specialist at Instituto Vita and medical coordinator of the Brazilian Judo Federation.

This phenomenon is known as docking. “In this way, after anatomists divided, some bones such as the skull and pelvis, which are counted by their separate parts, are now counted as a lower number. The exact time may vary according to gender, age, and region,” Sanchez explains.

How do you divide the bones of the body?

Anatomists and orthopedic surgeons use several methods to classify and divide the bones of the body, and they are:

  • tall or short;
  • flat, irregular, aerial or sesame;
  • axial or hyperbolic.

This last classification occurs according to the location of the bones:

  • The axial bones are those that make up the trunk, neck and head, which include the bones of the skull, cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, sacrum, coccyx and pelvis (iliac, ischial and pubic), making up 80 bones in total. ;
  • The supernumerary bones are the bones of the upper extremities (such as the humerus, radius, ulna, metatarsal, phalanges, carpal bones, collarbones) and the lower extremities (such as the femur, patella, tibia, ankle, ganglion, metatarsal, phalanges, cuboid). cuneiform, medial, medial, and lateral wedges), with a total of 126 bones.

The largest bone in the human body is the femur, located in the thigh of the shin. The smallest of them are in the ear: the stirrup, the anvil and the mallet, explained Marcelo Lopez, the hospital’s orthopedic surgeon. HU-UFPI (University Hospital of the Federal University of Piauí), associated with see him (Brazilian Hospital Services Corporation).

Are there people who have more bones in their bodies?

Yes, it is possible that the number of bones is greater than indicated at the beginning of this text. “Some people may have attached or redundant bones (eg, transitional vertebrae in the spine) or even bones that do not fully fuse during development,” Sanchez says.

What are the functions of bones in our bodies?

Bones form part of our motor system, which is already showing its importance in our coming and going movements. But its function goes beyond that:

  • protects organs considered noble, such as the brain, heart, lungs, and spinal cord;
  • They participate in the production of blood cells through the hematopoietic system (red blood cells) and defense (lymphocytes);
  • They serve as a reserve of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, glycogen and fats.

There are also specific functions of some bones, such as the ribs that aid in breathing.

How do we take care of the health of our bones?

Orthopedic surgeons interviewed suggest the following precautions for good bone health:

  • A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and an adequate amount of protein;
  • good sun exposure, ideally 15 minutes without sunscreen at times of greatest safety (before 10am and after 4pm);
  • Do not smoke;
  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Regular practice of exercises that help in acquiring bone stock until the age of thirty and reducing its expenditure after that age;
  • Maintain an appropriate weight.

When this does not happen, the bones weaken with age, which can lead to their fragility, leading to osteoporosis, and later, if nothing is done, osteoporosis, where a person has a higher rate of fractures and difficulty. .

“It can also lead to a higher rate of pain in the bones and loss of strength due to the flattening of the vertebrae,” Sanchez strengthens.

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