What are the Different Types of Bone Function?

Alex Paul

The primary bone function is to provide sufficient support for the body through the skeletal system. There are, however, a number of other functions performed by bones. Different types of bone function include protection of vulnerable organs and blood cells, and the storage of minerals and energy. There are also a number of different types of bone such as long, short, flat and sesamoid bones.

The skeletal system is arranged in a way that provides stability in any activity a human may undertake.
The skeletal system is arranged in a way that provides stability in any activity a human may undertake.

The skeletal system is arranged in such a way which to provide stability during any activity that a human may undertake. To achieve this the skeletal system must be balanced and as symmetric as possible. For this reason the vast majority of bones in the body have a partner on the opposite side. The most important bone function is to provide a solid base from which the muscles and tendons can operate to achieve movement.

The rib cage helps protect the organs in the chest from trauma.
The rib cage helps protect the organs in the chest from trauma.

Muscles provide the strength for movement but another bone function is to assist in this process. Most muscles attach directly onto a bone, which means that as the muscles relax or contract the bones are moved. This interaction can be complex and is essential for the body to operate smoothly. The field of biomechanics is dedicated to the study of how muscles interact with the bones.

An important bone function is to provide protection to the body’s vital organs. For example, the skull’s main purpose is to protect the brain from an external impact. The ribs are another example as they are there to help protect the lungs and heart. Without these bones some of the body’s most essential organs would be exposed.

Aside from the mechanical bone functions there are also some less obvious but still important functions performed by bones. For example, blood production takes place in bone marrow in certain types of bones. Some bones can also store minerals and other substances which the body needs. Phosphorus and calcium are two examples. Bones can also help to remove certain unwanted minerals from the blood.

Due to the role that bones play in the body’s movement it can be difficult for a human to cope if an injury occurs. The most common type of injury is a fracture and this can affect the structural functions that a bone would usually perform and severely restrict movement. In many cases immobilizing a fractured bone will be enough to allow it to heal although in more severe breaks surgery is sometimes required.

A diagram of the anatomy of a bone.
A diagram of the anatomy of a bone.

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Discussion Comments


I have a jagged bone sticking out on my elbow as well. Did yours round out at all over time? Mine is quite pointy and sometimes I do bang it on things.


If you break a bone, it can be simple to put back together. Or it can cause all kinds of problems.

I fell and broke my elbow a couple of years ago. It was not a clean break and I needed surgery. The surgeon couldn't get it back into the right position, so now I have a bone sticking out on my elbow. It hurts when I put pressure on it or when I bend it.

Surgeons do their best, but they can't always maneuver the bone pieces to go exactly back in place. If it is a messy jagged break, it's just not possible.


We really need all our bones to move and function. It sure makes things a lot easier if bones are symmetrical on both sides. Pain, inflammation and awkward movement can happen if our bones and muscles don't work together. We need to be even, from side to side and top to bottom.

For example,if the bone structure of our feet are not in normal placement, the way we move on our feet can cause damage to our knees and our hips.

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