The Main Longitudinal Development of Bone

Intramembranous ossification
It begins during fetal development and continues into adolescence.

It is the pathway through which most of the flat bones are formed.

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It takes place within the membranes of embryonic mesenchymal tissues.

The starting point of the osteogenesis is called as the ossification center.

In the ossification centers, the mesenchymal cells specialize in the osteoprogenitor of osteoblasts around a series of developing capillaries.

From the surface facing opposite to the blood vessels, the polarized osteoblasts produce osteoid components that calcify and form the trabeculae of woven bone.

The differentiating osteocytes enveloped within the matrix lacunae keep their intracellular contacts through cytoplasmic processes within the canaliculi.

The repeated secretion, calcification, and trabacular growth leads to the joining of neighbouring ossification centers and later produce layers of compact bone that encloses a region of bones with marrow and larger blood vessels.

Endochondral Ossification

In this pathway, the bone develops by substituting the hyaline cartilage.

It takes much longer for the formation of bone in this pathway than in the previously discussed pathway.

After 6–8 weeks of conception, some of the mesenchymal cells differentiate into chondrocytes. This forms the cartilage cell precursor of the bones.

This is followed by the appearance of the perichondrium membrane around the cartilage.

As more matrix is secreted, the chondrocytes in the middle of the cartilaginous models start increasing in size.

After the calcification of the matrix, the nutrients can no longer be obtained by the chondrocytes, leading to their death and disintegration of the surrounding cartilage.

The thus formed cavity is occupied by blood, which also brings in the osteogenic cells, many of which transform into osteoblasts. These growing spaces in the later stages combine with the medullary cavity.

The cartilages are accommodated with the capillaries as they develop. This penetration initiates the transformation of perichondrium, into periosteum which produces bone. In this region, the periosteal collar is formed around the cartilage of diaphysis by the osteoblasts.

After this, in the second or third fetal month, ossification speeds up, and the primary ossification center is formed, which is a region in the periosteal collar and it is the site where ossification begins.

Consequently, chondrocytes and cartilage grow at the end of the bones, which increases the bone length, and the cartilage is replaced by bone at the same time in diaphyces.

At the end of the fully formed fetal skeleton, cartilage is present in only joints and between the diaphyces and epiphyces plate. This is later responsible for the longitudinal growth of bone

After the birth, the whole process repeats in the epiphyseal region, and each center where the process is triggered again is called a secondary ossification center, which is responsible for the longitudinal growth of the bone

Longitudinal Development of Bone

Longitudinal bone growth takes place in the epiphyseal area, which is a layer of hyaline cartilage where the ossification of immature bone takes place.

Cartilage is formed on the epiphyseal direction of the epiphyseal plate.

On the diaphyseal side, ossification occurs, and it grows in length.

The reserve zone is the closest zone to the epiphyseal end, and it contains small chondrocytes within the matrix. These chondrocytes ensure the security of the epiphyseal plate to the osseous tissue.

Stacks of larger chondrocytes can be seen in proliferative zone; these make new chondrocytes to replace the cells that die at the diaphyseal site. Next to it is the zone of maturation and hypertrophy, which contains older and larger cells. The longitudinal growth of the bone is a combined effect of the division in the proliferative zone and maturation of the cell in the zone of maturation and hypertrophy.

The zone of calcified matrix contains chondrocytes and is the zone nearest to diaphysis, but the cells are dead because the surrounding matrix is calcified. From the diaphysis, capillaries and osteoblasts enter the region, and the osteoblasts secrete bone tissue on the remaining calcified cartilage. Hence, a connection between the epiphyseal plate and the diaphysis is established by this calcified matrix. The addition of osseous tissue in diaphysis results in longitudinal bone growth.

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