• Question: Is there a bone that if you break it, it will not repair?:)

    Asked by cbd99xox to Kate, Mark U, Tess, Yue, David, Mus on 3 May 2012. This question was also asked by samuel1299.
    • Photo: Tess Newman

      Tess Newman answered on 3 May 2012:

      I’ve been having a think about this one! I haven’t found any – the main issue is not that the bone won’t heal – but that it is in a really awkward place to heal.

      Bone is pretty good at healing itself – it initially forms a ‘callus’ – almost like a scab – that joins the 2 broken ends of the bone together. This is pretty flexible initially, as it is very similar to cartilage – the stuff that your ears is made of. However, if you stop the broken ends of the bone from moving around too much, the callus will eventually turn into new bone, and you won’t be able to see the join anymore. This is way you have your broken leg put in plaster

      Some bones, however, are difficult to keep stationary, so you might need to have a metal plate fixed to the bone – a kind of internal cast. If there is a lot of bone loss, you may need a bone graft .This provides a kind of scaffold for the new bone to grow onto.

      People with osteoporosis (a bone condition), or older people, often have what we call more porous bones – that is, they are more holey inside. They often have issues with bone healing.

      But pretty much – with medical help everything should heal!

    • Photo: Mark Uphill

      Mark Uphill answered on 4 May 2012:

      This sounds like a bit of a riddle to me..If it was from a skeleton of a deceased body, it would be unlikely to repair! That’s a cop out I know….