Periosteum is the name of the layer of dense connective tissue that covers most surfaces of bones (except the articular surfaces, as cartilage protects bone at joints).

Basic Structure of Periosteum

  • The inner layer of periosteum contains osteoblasts and fewer blood vessels than the outer layer.
  • The outer layer of periosteum is very dense and includes many blood vessels.
  • Periosteum is connected to the bone by strong collagenous fibres called Sharpey's fibres, which extend to the outer circumferential and interstitial lamellae of bone.

Functions of Periosteum

  • Provides attachments for tendons, and ligaments.
  • Includes nerve endings concerned with sensation of pain (called nociceptive nerve endings), that increase the sensitivity of periosteum to manipulation.
  • Provides nourishment to the bone (via blood supply).
  • Plays an important role in the healing of bone fractures.

This section consists of short summaries about the structures that form the muscles of the body. This list is not exhaustive but is intended to be appropriate for students of A-Level Human Biology, ITEC courses in massage and related subjects, and other courses in health sciences. For more general information about muscles see the pages about:

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