Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-kb57s Total loading time: 0.285 Render date: 2022-01-22T10:56:42.490Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

6 - Activity patterns: 2. Structural adaptation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2015

Clark Spencer Larsen
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Get access

Summary

Bone form, function, and behavioral inference

Julius Wolff, a leading nineteenth-century German anatomist and orthopedic surgeon, recognized the remarkable sensitivity of skeletal tissues to mechanical stimuli, especially with regard to their ability to adjust size and shape in response to external forces. Wolff concluded that “every particle of mature bone is very active. Such activity must appear in the external shape of the bones” (1892:78). What he called the “law of bone remodeling” – now commonly known as Wolff’s Law – simply states that bone tissue places itself in the direction of functional demand. Wolff’s Law in the twenty-first century has a somewhat different meaning than what Julius Wolff intended, and is best referred to as “bone functional adaptation” (Ruff et al., 2006).

A great deal of evidence has accrued in support of the notion that bone adapts to and is shaped by its mechanical environment. Experimental and other research on bone modeling and remodeling is instrumental in identifying patterns of skeletal modification under different loading regimes, especially with respect to the magnitude and direction of mechanical forces (Bass et al., 2002; Lanyon et al., 1982; Meade, 1989; Ruff, 2008; Trinkaus et al., 1994). In a set of classic experiments using laboratory dogs, Chamay and Tschantz (1972) observed that the surgical removal of portions of radii resulted in the hypertrophy of ulnar diaphyses. The ulnar diaphyses increased in size by 31% after just 16 days and 60%–100% by nine weeks. Similarly, Lanyon and coworkers (Goodship et al., 1979; Lanyon & Bourne, 1979) documented increased apposition of bone on the radius following ulnar osteotomies in pigs and sheep. Nonsurgical load alterations have also resulted in changes in bone mass. Woo and coworkers (1981) identified significant endosteal apposition in young pigs subjected to exercise. Simkin and coworkers (1989) compared humeri from swimming and non-swimming rats in an experimental setting. The swimming rats included a group trained to swim for one hour per day and a group that underwent the same training, but also had a lead weight (approximately 1% of the rat’s body weight) tied to their tails. Comparison of bone size and structure revealed that both groups of swimming rats had greater periosteal apposition than the sedentary, non-swimming rats.

Type
Chapter
Information
Bioarchaeology
Interpreting Behavior from the Human Skeleton
, pp. 214 - 255
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×