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Long bones are hard, dense bones that provide strength, structure, and mobility. The femur (thigh bone) is a long bone. A long bone has a shaft and two ends.
There are also bones in the fingers that are classified as "long bones," even though they are short in length. This is due to the shape of the bones, not the actual size.
Long bones contain yellow bone marrow and red bone marrow, which produce blood cells.
Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Anderson GJ, Hensrud DD. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 30.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.