Oct
12
2013

SMALLEST BONE IN THE HUMAN BODY



The smallest bone in the human body is located in the ear ossicles. They are found in the middle ear, and they are known as the ‘stapes’, the ‘incus’ and the ‘malleus’. The human body has 206 bones in its skeleton.

The smallest bone in the human body is in your ear and is called the stirrup bone (stapes). It is only 0.25 to 0.33 cm long (0.10 to 0.13 in) and weighs only 1.98 to 4.3 mg.

The stapes is the stirrup-shaped small bone or ossicle in the middle ear which is attached through the incudostapedial joint to the incus laterally and to the fenestra ovalis, the “oval window”, medially. Stapes means stirrup in Latin. The oval window is adjacent to the vestibule of the inner ear. The stapes is the smallest and lightest bone in the human body. It was described by the professor Giovanni Filippo Ingrassia in 1546 at the University of Naples. As the stapes first develops embryologically from the 6th to 8th week of life, it surrounds the stapedial artery, which supplies the majority of the vasculature of the embryonic head. After that period, the external carotid artery is generated and takes over for the stapedial artery, which subsequently involutes, leaving the stapes with a windowframe-like structure.

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About the Author: Mahesh Bansal

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