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Difference Between Compact and Spongy Bone

Compact vs Spongy Bone

Our bones are the primary skeletal structure that support the muscles and adds shape to the body. It is also has one of the most important mechanisms as it produces blood components through the bone marrow.

Two of the inner bone structures that people rarely know about are the compact and spongy bones. What are the differences between these bone structures?

Compact and spongy bones are considered the two basic structural bone types. The best explanation of the difference between the two is that the spongy bones in terms of area can be found at the head part of long bones. It also fills up the bones of an irregular type. Compact bones, on the other hand, can be found at the outer layer of the bone. It also forms the outer layer plus the shaft of the long type of bones.

Compact bones are also known as cortical bones. Spongy bones are also known as cancellous bones. Compact and spongy bones are the two main types of osseous tissues.

Compact bones are made up of osteons. Osteons are also called Haversian systems. These osteons make the structure of compact bones. These rod-like units form the outer layer of the compact bones at the long bone.These osteons also contain Haversian canals. These canals contain and carry blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and branches of the nerves.

Spongy bones are made up trabeculae. These trabeculae look like thin threads. These are not as heavy as the osteons of the compact bones. The formation of trabeculae always depends on which of these bones were mechanically tensioned.

Compact bones are heavy, extremely tough, and are formed or stacked in layers. Since it forms the superficial layer of the bones, it account for more than 75-80 per cent of the weight of the entire skeletal system of a human.

Spongy bones, on the other hand, are lighter than compact bones. They fill the inner layer of most bones such as the vertebrae. The main function of it is to save materials, provide movement, give protection to important body organs, and most of all to give support to the entire structure of the body.


1.Compact and spongy bones are the two main types of osseous tissues.
2.Compact bone is also called cortical bone while spongy bone is also called cancellous bone.
3.Compact bones are made of osteons while spongy bones are made of trabeculae.
4.Compact bones are tough and heavy while spongy bones are light.
5.Compact bones fill the outer layer of most of the bones while spongy bones fill the inner layer of the bones.

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  1. This was kind of useful

  2. Thank you very much. God bless you.

  3. Thank you so much for this information.

  4. Super helpful

  5. So so helpful. Good choice of words, clear to the point & helped me understand better.

  6. Thanks Joshua. This will help me with my science project.

  7. thanx a lot,grateful for all

  8. This was very informative thank you

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