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Putz, R. and Milz, S. (2016): Makroskopische und funktionelle Anatomie der Apophysenfugen. In: Orthopade, Vol. 45, No. 3: pp. 199-205

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Apophyses are growth zones attached to the shaft (corpus) of larger bones. They vary in size and develop their own ossification centres or form as part of an usually fibrocartilaginous tendon or ligament insertion. The structure of the cartilaginous apophyseal plate is very similar to that of an epiphyseal growth plate and like these they are adapted to withstand perpendicular compressive forces without becoming harmed. This is best highlighted by the fact that their mineralized borders always orient themselves perpendicular to the overall resulting force vector. The edges of the apophyseal plates are characteristically bent which allows them to resist moderate shear forces. Like the epiphyseal plates the apophyseal plates exhibit a zonal organization which is not very well adapted to permanently withstand shear forces, especially if they occur under dynamic conditions. In these situations the tendinous insertions with their collagen fibre anchoring system have to provide compensation when balancing the load transmitted across the system.

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