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Medullary cavity

Recommended video: Bone marrow [11:20]
Histological features of the bone marrow.

The medullary cavity (marrow cavity) is the hollow central space found within the shaft (diaphysis) of long bones. Its walls are formed by a thin layer of spongy bone, which is itself surrounded by a thick layer of compact bone comprising the diaphysis. Lining the surface of the medullary cavity is a thin layer of connective tissue known as the endosteum, containing cells required for bone development and remodeling.

The medullary cavity is important for housing the body's bone marrow stores. The type of bone marrow found here depends on age. In children the medullary cavity contains red bone marrow, whilst in adulthood this has mostly been replaced over time by yellow bone marrow (adipose). 

Terminology English: Medullary cavity
Latin: Cavitas medullaris
Structure Hollow space within the diaphysis of long bones
Function Houses bone marrow

Learn more about bones in this study unit: 

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