What is the hardest bone in your body to break?

03 October 2010

Question

What is the hardest bone in your body to break?

Answer

Diana - Okay. Well I reckon it's the petrous part of the temporal bone and you can find the temporal bone sort of in behind your ear, underneath your ear. The petrous part of it is this really solid, sort of stony (which is what petrous actually means) bit of bone which goes around in all your auditory canals and it's the bit of bone that survives really well in archaeology as well. I mean, you can sort of bash it and it just stays in one piece. But a lot of people say that the femur is also a really hard bone to break because it's quite solid. It is sort of thick and it is your thigh bone, but I reckon the petrous part is the best contender. Dave - I guess there's two different questions. One is, how strong is the bone and also, how likely is it to get damaged? Your femur might be incredibly strong, but it's also kind of a major structural part of your body and when you fall off a motorbike, it gets bashed really hard. Diana - Exactly, yeah. It's one of those that you're more likely to injure. The malleus, the incus, and stapes, the little tiny, tiny bones inside your ear are probably the hardest to break because they're so hard to get to, but you know, if you took them out, and gave them a good bashing, they'd break very easily.

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