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The main differences between compact bone and spongy bone are their structures and the way each functions. Both types of bone tissues are necessary for movement of the body and support of the skeletal system.


Bones consist of two types of tissue: compact bone and spongy, or cancellous, bone. According to class notes from St. Petersburg College, compact bone is the dense, smooth tissue on the outside of the bone. Spongy bone is porous tissue found on the inside of the bone.


Spongy bone lacks the functional tube-like units called osteon found in compact bone. Osteon are formed by a network of small canals along with osteocyte cells lined up in rings around the canals. They are responsible for providing a channel for blood vessels, veins and...


According to Arizona State University (ASU), "spongy" bone is not dense because it contains holes or "pores." These open areas contain blood marrow, nerves, and blood vessels that transport cells and nutrients. Although the appearance of these bones resembles a sponge, ...


Spongy bone, also called cancellous or trabecular bone, provides structural support and facilitates movement of the joints and limbs. Spongy bone is light and porous and found in most parts of the body and in other bones that do not typically endure large volumes of mec...


Compact bone is the outer layer of a bone such as the tibia or fibula. Compact bone is also referred to as cortical bone. The compact bone is shaped like a cylinder and is extremely hard.


One of the three layers of a bone, compact bone tissue is the rigid, dense outer layer of bone that consists primarily of calcium and minerals. Also called cortical bone, compact bones are so hard that a saw is needed to cut through it for surgery.