The periosteum is a fibrous sheath that covers bones. It contains the blood vessels and nerves that provide nourishment and sensation to the bone. The periosteum tends to be thicker in younger people. The thickness decreases when the bones are mature. The periosteum also allows bone to grow and remodel after fracture.
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Blood supply to bone - illustration
Bones require their own blood supply which travels through the periosteum to the inner bone marrow.
Blood supply to bone
Review Date: 7/7/2019
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.