Medullary cavity

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Schematic structure of a long bone

The medullary cavity ( Cavitas medullaris , obsolete and in veterinary anatomy: Cavum medullare ) is a cavity in the shaft ( diaphysis ) of long bones in vertebrates filled with bone marrow . It is enveloped by the substantia compacta and lined with a delicate inner bone ( endostrum ). The compacta has a vascular hole ( foramen nutricium ) through which a blood vessel passes into the medullary cavity . The medullary cavity is in open connection with the medullary cells ( Cellulae medullares ) of the cancellous bone .

In fetuses and young individuals, the medullary cavity still contains red bone marrow ( medulla osseum rubra ); in old age this is completely converted into fat marrow ( medulla ossium flava ).


  • Theodor H. Schiebler and Horst-W. Korf: Anatomy: histology, history of development, macroscopic and microscopic anatomy, topography . Springer, 10th edition 2007, ISBN 9783798517707