Christalle Angle

Christalle Angle

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


The periosteum is an incredibly fascinating and essential component of the human body’s skeletal system. It is a thin but tough membrane that envelopes the outer surface of bones, providing protection and serving as an attachment site for muscles and tendons. While it may not be as well-known as other anatomical structures, the periosteum plays a crucial role in bone health and regeneration. In this article, we will delve into 16 astonishing facts about the periosteum that will help you appreciate its significance and marvel at its intricate functions. From its role in bone development to its ability to sense and respond to injury, the periosteum truly exemplifies the remarkable complexity of the human anatomy. So, let’s explore the wonders of the periosteum and discover the incredible world beneath our skin.

Table of Contents

The Function of Periosteum

The periosteum is a thin layer of connective tissue that covers the outer surface of bones. It serves multiple functions including providing protection, aiding in bone growth and repair, and participating in the attachment of tendons and ligaments to the bone.

Highly Innervated

The periosteum is highly innervated, meaning it has a rich supply of nerves. These nerves play a crucial role in transmitting sensory information and contribute to our ability to perceive pain, touch, pressure, and temperature.

Rich Blood Supply

The periosteum is abundantly supplied with blood vessels, which provide oxygen and vital nutrients to the underlying bone tissue. This helps promote the growth, repair, and maintenance of bones.

Source of Stem Cells

One fascinating fact about the periosteum is that it contains a population of stem cells. These stem cells have the potential to differentiate into various cell types, allowing for bone regeneration and repair.

Protective Layer

The periosteum acts as a protective layer for the underlying bone, shielding it from external trauma and providing a barrier against infection.

Attachment Site for Muscles

Muscles and tendons attach to the bones via the periosteum, which provides a strong anchoring point. This allows for efficient movement and coordination of the musculoskeletal system.

Regulates Bone Growth

The periosteum plays a vital role in bone growth and development. It contains specialized cells called osteoblasts, which are responsible for laying down new bone tissue and maintaining bone density.

Responds to Injury

When a bone is injured, the periosteum initiates a healing response. It helps in the formation of a callus, which stabilizes the fractured bone and facilitates the repair process.

Sensory Function

Due to its rich nerve supply, the periosteum is involved in the sensation of pain and touch. It helps us perceive stimuli and respond accordingly to protect our bones from further harm.

Supports Bone Remodeling

The periosteum contributes to the continuous remodeling of bones throughout our lives. It provides a framework for bone resorption and deposition, ensuring the maintenance of bone strength and structure.


The periosteum acts as an insulator, helping to regulate temperature within the bone. It prevents excessive heat loss or gain, maintaining an optimal environment for bone function.

Aids in Nutrient Exchange

The periosteum facilitates the exchange of nutrients and waste products between the bone and surrounding tissues. This helps ensure the bone remains nourished and free from harmful substances.

Contains Pain Receptors

Among its various nerve endings, the periosteum harbors pain receptors that are responsive to injury or inflammation. These receptors alert us to potential bone-related issues that require attention.

Essential for Bone Repair

The periosteum plays a crucial role in bone repair and regeneration. It provides a source of cells, growth factors, and scaffolding that contribute to the healing process after a fracture or injury.

Distribution Varies in Different Bones

While the periosteum is present in all bones, its distribution and thickness may vary depending on the specific bone. For example, long bones have a more extensive periosteum compared to flat bones.

Dynamic Structure

The periosteum is not a static tissue but rather a dynamic structure that can adapt to changes in mechanical stress. It responds to forces by modifying its composition and thickness to maintain bone integrity.

These 16 astonishing facts about periosteum highlight its vital role in bone function, repair, and protection. The periosteum is a dynamic structure that continuously adapts to maintain bone health. Its rich blood supply, innervation, and stem cell population contribute to its remarkable properties. Understanding the periosteum’s functions is crucial for appreciating the complexity of the human skeletal system.


The periosteum is a fascinating and essential part of the human anatomy. It serves as a protective covering for our bones, facilitates bone growth and repair, and provides a connection for muscles and tendons. Understanding the periosteum’s role can help us appreciate the complexity of the human body and the remarkable processes that occur within it.Throughout this article, we have uncovered some astonishing facts about the periosteum. From its sensitivity to pain and pressure to its remarkable regenerative abilities, the periosteum plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of our skeletal system. It is truly a remarkable structure deserving of our admiration and further study.By delving into the intricate details of the periosteum, we can gain a deeper understanding of how our bodies work, and how we can promote optimal bone health and recovery. So, the next time you think about bones, remember the incredible periosteum that wraps around them, providing support, protection, and so much more.


1. What is the periosteum?

The periosteum is a tough, fibrous membrane that covers the outer surface of bones.

2. What is the function of the periosteum?

The periosteum serves multiple functions, including providing protection, aiding in bone growth and repair, and enabling the attachment of muscles and tendons to bones.

3. Can the periosteum regenerate?

Yes, the periosteum has regenerative properties and can regenerate after injury or bone fractures.

4. Is the periosteum sensitive to pain?

Yes, the periosteum is innervated and can be sensitive to pain and pressure.

5. How does the periosteum contribute to bone growth?

The periosteum contains osteoprogenitor cells, which can differentiate into bone-forming cells and contribute to bone growth and repair.

6. Can the periosteum be affected by diseases?

Yes, certain conditions like periostitis and osteosarcoma can affect the periosteum.

7. Can the periosteum be damaged during bone fractures?

Yes, bone fractures can cause damage to the periosteum, but it has the capacity to regenerate and heal.

8. Does the periosteum have any role in bone healing?

Yes, the periosteum plays an integral part in the process of bone healing by providing a source of cells for bone regeneration.