Pathology, or diseases, sometimes leave markings on bones that may be useful in determining the health of an individual. The pathology listed below are some of the common, but not all, of the features that can be used to determine pathology.
Dental caries are commonly known as cavities. Pits and crevices on teeth are at highest risk for caries because bits of food can easily become lodged in place. The bacteria that accumulates causes the breakdown of enamel tissue and ultimately results in exposure of dentin.
Degenerate joint disease
Eburnation, osteophytes, and osteoarthritic lipping are are three types of degenerate joint disease. Degenerate joint disease results from the loss of cartilage between joints. The cartilage between joints protects bones from harsh friction during movements and its loss can result in bone damage.
- Eburnation refers to the smooth and shiny appearance of bone after it has been subjected to bone-on-bone wear. (Eburnation of the femur/Eburnation of the sacrum)
- Osteophytes occur when new bone accumulates in one place during bone remodeling. (Osteophytes of the femur/Osteophytes of the calcaneus)
- Osteoarthritic lipping occurs by the same process as osteophytes except that the bone is accumulated along the sides of bone. This condition can be painful as demonstrated by the sore and achy feeling experienced by individuals who suffer from arthritis. (Lipping of femur/Lipping of sacrum/lipping of calcaneus/lipping of the metatarsal)
Parietal foramina are found in many places on the parietal bones and its is the enlargements of these foramina that is considered pathological. Parietal foramina are not caused by a disease process and are regarded as abnormalities. Enlarge foramina usually occur near the sagittal suture bilaterally (or on both sides of the suture). Their etiology is not completely understood although it is thought to be genetic and run in families.
Hyperostosis is the accumulation of extra calcification on bones. Bones continually undergo remodeling throughout life. Osteoblasts are the bone producing cells that replace old bone. During hyperostosis, these osteoblasts overproduce bone, which results in excessive calcification.