by Roy A. Meals
A lively, illustrated exploration of the 500-million-year history of bone, a touchstone for understanding vertebrate life and human culture.
Human bone is versatile and entirely unique: it repairs itself without scarring, it’s lightweight but responds to stresses, and it’s durable enough to survive for millennia. In Bones, orthopedic surgeon Roy A. Meals explores and extols this amazing material that both supports and records vertebrate life.
Inside the body, bone proves itself the world’s best building material. Meals examines the biological makeup of bones; demystifies how they grow, break, and heal; and compares the particulars of human bone to variations throughout the animal kingdom. In engaging and clear prose, he debunks familiar myths―humans don’t have exactly 206 bones―and illustrates common bone diseases, like osteoporosis and arthritis, and their treatments. Along the way, he highlights the medical innovations―from the first X-rays to advanced operative techniques―that enhance our lives and introduces the giants of orthopedic surgery who developed them.