Illustration of a typical long bone showing the location of cancellous bone ("trabecular bone" on the image).
Light micrograph of cancellous bone showing its bony trabeculae (pink) and marrow tissue (purple).
|Latin||substantia spongiosa ossium|
Compared to compact bone, cancellous bone has a higher surface area to mass ratio because it is less dense. This gives it softer, weaker, and more flexible characteristics. The greater surface area in comparison with cortical bone makes cancellous bone suitable for metabolic activity e.g. exchange of calcium ions. Cancellous bone is typically found at the ends of long bones, proximal to joints and within the interior of vertebrae. Cancellous bone is highly vascular and frequently contains red bone marrow where haematopoiesis, the production of blood cells, occurs. The primary anatomical and functional unit of cancellous bone is the trabecula. It is commonly thought that the trabecula within the cancellous bone is aligned towards the mechanical load distribution that a bone experiences. For example,  has studied the anatomy and the directionality distribution inside the pedicle bone within human spine specimen.
Its Latin name is substantia spongiosa or substantia spongiosa ossium. The words cancellous and trabecular refer to the tiny lattice-shaped spicules that form the tissue. It was first illustrated accurately in the engravings of Crisóstomo Martinez.
In osteoporosis (specifically Type 1, aka post-menopausal), cancellous bone is more severely affected than cortical bone.
- Cortical bone, the other type of osseous tissue, which forms the hard outer layer of bone organs
- C.M. Gdyczynski and A. Manbachi, et al. "On estimating the directionality distribution in pedicle trabecular bone from micro-CT images." 'Journal of Physiological Measurements', 35(12):2415–2428, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0967-3334/35/12/2415
- substantia+spongiosa at eMedicine Dictionary
- Gomez, Santiago (Feb 2002). "Crisóstomo Martinez, 1638-1694: the discoverer of trabecular bone". Endocrine 17 (1): 3–4. doi:10.1385/ENDO:17:1:03. ISSN 1355-008X. PMID 12014701.
- Netter, Frank H. (1987), Musculoskeletal system: anatomy, physiology, and metabolic disorders. Summit, New Jersey: Ciba-Geigy Corporation ISBN 0-914168-88-6
- Histology image: 02601lba — Histology Learning System at Boston University - "Cartilage and Bone and Bone Histogenesis: trabecular, woven and lamellar bone"
- "Fractal Analysis of Trabecular Bone". University of Washington. Retrieved October 2010.
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