Do you think this would hurt? Why?
That would probably hurt. And hurt a lot. Broken bones, or fractures, may be one of the more common problems of the skeletal system. And this one would probably need surgery to fix. But, in addition to broken bones, there are other problems and diseases of the skeletal system.
Skeletal System Problems
Despite their hardness and strength, bones can suffer from injury and disease. Bone problems include fractures, osteoarthritis, and rickets.
- Fractures are breaks in bone, usually caused by excessive stress on bone. Fractures heal when osteoblasts form new bone. The animation at this link shows how this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVougiCEgH8 .
- Osteoarthritis is a condition in which cartilage breaks down in joints due to wear and tear, causing joint stiffness and pain. For a brief animation about osteoarthritis, go to this link: http://www.5min.com/Video/Osteoarthritis-61312377 .
- Rickets is softening of the bones in children that occurs because bones do not have enough calcium. Rickets can lead to fractures and bowing of the leg bones, which is illustrated in the Figure below .
The bones of a child with rickets are so soft that the weight of the body causes them to bend.
- Skeletal system problems include fractures, osteoarthritis, and rickets.
Use this resource to answer the questions that follow.
- Calcium and Bone Health at http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/calcium.html .
- What is peak bone mass?
- What is osteoporosis?
- List five risk factors for osteoporosis.
- Why is calcium important? Why is vitamin D important?
- How do people obtain calcium? Give four examples of foods rich in calcium.
- Osteoporosis is a disease in which osteoclasts are more active than osteoblasts. How is this likely to affect the bones? Why would a person with osteoporosis have a greater-than-normal risk of bone fractures?