Bone types

Author:  Dr. med. Gesche Riabowol (née Tallen), Editor:  Maria Yiallouros, Last modification: 2023/01/25

Based on their shape, human bones are divided into the following three major groups:

  • Long bones: the long bones are also known as tube bones, since they contain a large cavity filled with bone marrow. Most of the bones of our arms and legs, except the very small hand and foot bones, belong to the group of long bones.
  • Short bones: vertebrae, small hand and foot bones as well as parts of the skull are short bones.
  • Flat bones: the sternum, shoulder blades and ribs, to name a few, belong to the group of flat bones.