So after two weeks away I’m back volunteering. I’ve been looking forward to today as I’ve really missed working with the bones. It took me a few minutes to settle back into the swing of things but once I had become reacquainted with the process I was on a roll!
This week I had patelllas, vertebrae and Os coaxe to sort though, plus some lower arm bones. As with the previous weeks the vast majority of the bones had very little unusual aspects. This was particularly true of the arm bones and os coaxe.
The vertebrae were separated into different boxes by their type and as I had previously looked at the cervical I only had to sort the thoracic and lumbar today. I think that a lot of these bones came from older individuals as many had bone growth on the ventral bodies; an indication of bone wear an osteoarthritis. However, there were also a couple of compressed vertebrae, which must have been uncomfortable during life. There was one interesting feature that I saw on 3 lumbar vertebrae which was an incomplete fusion of a spinous process. I’m not sure if this is an indication of a pathology, or fracture, or just a non-metric trait but it was interesting to look.
I think my favourite part of today was doing the patelllas. I’m not sure why but I really like this bone. Today I had 22 left and 27 right knee caps to look at and it was really easy to see the variation that can occur. The bones not only varied in size but also in their shape. In addition to this variation there was a fair amount of bone growth on some of the specimens. This was mainly in the anterior (front) surface of the bone where muscles would have attached. The pulling an straining of muscle on the bone and produce bone growth.any other bone growth was seen on the other side of the patella.
I was very happy to be back in London and at the College again today. I am grateful to be there and realise how much I enjoy it when I’ve been away.