Michael Bryan

Written by Michael Bryan

Modified & Updated: 10 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

human bones in a man

Bones are basically what give humans shape, and without them, we would look like a huge mass of moving flesh. Sensitive organs such as lungs, heart, brain, and many more, would lose protection without bones. Our bones also help us move to do our necessary daily tasks. An adult human consists of 206 bones, while a newborn baby has 300 of them, fascinating right? Moreover, the bone marrow inside our bones is responsible for creating red blood cells. In addition, not only bones are important to us, but at the same time, they are also full of interesting things. So, do you want to know the longest bone in the body? In fact, there are actually 10 of them that would surely pique your curiosity.

Table of Contents

1. Femur (Thighbone)

Average length: 19.9 inches

femur, human body, longest bone in the body
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

This bone extends from the hip to the knee to bear weight and for the stability of the gait. It can resist a force of up to 1,800-2,500 lbs, thus, making it the strongest, heaviest, and longest bone in the body. The Femur serves as the origin of where the ligaments and a lot of muscles attach. It also helps the hip and knee support an upright posture and movements like walking, running, and other movements. Hard as concrete, the common accidents that can break a femur are related mostly to car crashes.

The thighbone basically supports the whole skeleton to stand upright. We can say that it is a strong foundation that keeps everything intact from muscles to ligaments. It also contains red and yellow marrow that creates bone marrow stem cells and other substances needed to produce red blood cells. These specific cells are very important because they carry oxygen throughout the whole body.

2. Tibia (Shinbone)

Length: 16.9 inches

tibia, human body, longest bone in the body
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Ever wonder which bone helps make that quick turn during a dash possible? It is actually the shinbone that serves as a connector to your knee and ankle on each end. Additionally, it is also the 2nd largest bone in our body and is located in the lower leg. Shankbone is another name for it. Lastly, the tibia supports the Femur and ankle for our everyday movements, like running, walking, and jumping.

3. Fibula (Lower leg)

Length: 15.9 inches

fibula, human body, longest bone in the body
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Another bone in the lower leg, the Fibula is attached to the Tibia, although unlike it, the function of the Fibula is not to bear weight but to support the Tibia and provide stability to the ankle joint. Ligaments attach to grooves which each end of the Fibula has. These ligaments help the stabilization and leverage of the ankle movements. Damage or fracture of this bone usually occurs in ankle injuries.

Together with the Tibia, they would look like an old pin of an old brooch that your mom or grandmother wore during special occasions. Interestingly, it also happens that Fibula is a Latin word for brooch.

4. Humerus (Upper arm)

Length: 14.4 inches

humerus, human body, longest bone in the body
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Located in the upper arm between the shoulder and elbow joints and another longest bone in the body, this is one important bone that you really need to avoid getting fractured. The major artery runs along this bone. Moreover, this artery supplies oxygen, nutrients, and blood to the arm. It is also considered a ball and socket joint, in which the ball is the humeral head while the socket is the scapula.

The Humerus serves as an insertion point of many important muscles that help the Humerus do certain motions for the arm and the upper body. Overall, it serves as structural support to the arm.

5. Ulna (Inner lower arm)

Length: 11.1 inches

ulna, human body, longest bone in the body
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Our forearms are made out of several bones, and one of them is the Ulna or the inner lower arm. First, this bone connects with the Humerus bone at the elbow joint allowing us to make movements to the elbow and the wrist. Second, the Ulna is attached in parallel to the Radius to make the distal radioulnar joint. Lastly, cases of fracturing the Ulna usually are caused by impact on surfaces or objects.

6. Radius (Outer lower arm)

Length: 10.4 inches

radius, skeleton
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The Radius is the other long bone in the forearm. It is placed in the outer lower arm that is attached parallel to the Ulna to form the distal radioulnar joint. It pivots the Ulna to make movements at the proximal and distal radioulnar joints. This bone attaches in 4 different places namely; the elbow joint, the proximal radioulnar joint, the wrist joint, and the distal radioulnar joints. Sadly, distal radius fractures are the most common fractures that usually occur during a fall.

7. 7th Rib

Length: 9.5 inches

7th rib bone, skeleton
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Unlike other mammals, humans possess 12 pairs of ribs. All ribs that are within 1 to 7 are called the true ribs because they have their own cartilages attached to the sternum. Our ribs are essential because they protect our heart, lungs, tissues, and other organs in our upper body. They also provide structural support to our muscles in the chest, shoulders, and backs. In addition, our ribs are there to assist respiration.

8. 8th Rib

Length: 9.1 inches

8th rib bone, skeleton
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The 8th to 12th ribs are called false ribs since they are not connected directly to the sternum. In fact, other rib cages’ cartilages attach them to the sternum. Ribs are very important, as mentioned before, but they can also be lethal when damaged on impact. It can pierce directly to your sense organs. Moreover, according to Dr. Martinez of Dignity Health Medical Foundation in California, sneezing or coughing can cause fractures to the ribs due to the expansion of chest muscles on the ribs.

9. Innominate Bone (Hipbone)

Length: 7.3 inches

hipbone, skeleton
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

There are 3 fused parts that make up this cup-shaped bone. They are ilium, ischium, and pubis attached to the sacrum at the ipsilateral sacroiliac joint, and with the Femur at the hip joint. Furthermore, there are 2 hipbones joined together at the pubic symphysis, and together with the pelvic part of the spine, make up the skeletal component of the pelvis.

10. Sternum (Breastbone)

Length: 6.7 inches

sternum, breastbone
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Located at the center of your chest and our last longest bone in the body, the sternum serves as the protector of the organs of your torso from getting serious injuries. It also serves as a bridge-like bone that connects not only the collarbone and most of the ribs, but also connects some muscles of the chest and upper abdomen. To boot, this flat bone basically protects the heart, lungs, and chest blood vessels. Car-related and sports-related accidents are usually the most common causes of sternum fracture.

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