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Difference between Spongy and Compact Bones

Bones in Human Body

Health is wealth and the composition of the human body makes a person healthy. Bones are the basic organ of the body that provides support to the muscle and gives shape to the body. Bones consist of many tissues such as nervous tissues, blood tissues, connective tissues. In the human body, there are two types of bones: Spongy bones and Compact bones. Another name of spongy bones is cancellous or trabecular bone and for compact bones is cortical bones. Spongy bones are present within the compact bones. The difference between these ywo types of bones are:

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Nature of these Bones:

The spongy bones are light in weight, having porous tissues and soft in nature because the cells of these bones are widely separated from each other. These bones decrease the density of the bones. The compact bones are smooth, heavy, and tough because the cells are dense and closely connected.

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The spongy bones are made up of trabeculae which are arranged in a rod or plate-like manner that resists the bones from bending and twisting. Trabeculae also help in bearing the weight because it compresses when the pressure is applied to it and returns to its normal position when the pressure is released while the compact bones are made up of osteons or Haversian system which are the cylindrical structure that protects the bones and it also gives strength to the bones. Osteons are connected to the canaliculi which transport the nutrients to the osteons and also remove the wastes.

Spongy vs Compact Bones

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Bone-marrow cavity:

The bone-marrow cavity is not present in the spongy bones but the bone marrow is present in between the lamellae of these bones whereas the bone-marrow cavity is present in the compact bones. The bone marrow is present in this cavity. The bone marrow of the spongy bones is yellow which are the fat cells and the bone marrow of compact bones are red which produces the blood cells and immune system cells.


The spongy bones from the epiphysis of the long bones. The epiphysis is a round-end of long bones which joins with the adjacent bones. The cells of epiphysis have a gap between them so they compress and relax according to the movement of the bones. The compact bones from the shaft or the diaphysis of the long bones. The diaphysis is a mid-section of the long bone which contains bone-marrow and adipose (fat) tissues.

Compact vs Spongy Bones

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Layers and Color:

The spongy bones form the inner layer of the bones whereas the compact bones from the outer layers of the bones which protect the bones from fracturing. The spongy bones are pink in color and the compact bones are white. These bones from the long bones of the skeleton. Spongy bones form the 20 % weight of the bones and compact bones form the remaining 80 % weight of the bones in the human skeleton. These bones form the basic structure and shape of the body and help in the movement of the body and also bear stress and pressure exerted on the body.


Written By: Abid ali,


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