Short bones in the human body are often cube-like, their length, width, and height are all about the same.
Short bones include the carpal bones of the hands that allow movement of the wrist, and the tarsal bones of the feet that allow movement of the ankle.
Standring S. Ankle and foot. In: Standring S, ed. Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 42nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 79.
Standring S. Wrist and hand. In: Standring S, ed. Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 42nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 51.
Short bones - illustration
Short bones are shaped roughly as a cube and contain mostly spongy bone. The outside surface is comprised of a thin layer of compact bone. Short bones are located in the hands and feet. The patella (kneecap) is also considered a short bone.
Review Date: 7/29/2021
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.