What is the hardest bone in your body to break?

03 October 2010


Professor Lee Burger comparing a giant fossil femurs to that of a modern-day South African female.



What is the hardest bone in your body to break?


Diana - Okay. Well I reckon it's the petrous part of the temporal bone and you can find the temporal bone 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 all your auditory canals and it's the bit of bone that survives really well in archaeology as well. I mean, you can 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.


From an Orthopaedics perspective, bones “strength” varies depending on what you test— compression, torsion, or distraction. And depends on patient age. Im betting lab testing would turn out some small highly cortical bone like the Trapezium is most resistant to failure. Femurs break with minimal trauma in elderly.

The hardest bone to break is the femur because I did break it one time and each time I'd move it would hurt me and I'd cry so that's what I think.

Your big toe

I was told that the skull is the hardest to break in your body is this true

The skull is relatively easy to break, as many unfortunate victims around the world discover each day...

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