Bones: Inside and Out by Roy A. Meals, MD
Human bone is versatile and unique: it repairs itself without scarring, it’s lightweight but responds to stresses, and it’s durable enough to survive for millennia. In
, 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 precisely 206 bones—and illustrates common bone diseases, like osteoporosis and arthritis, and their treatments. He highlights the medical innovations—from the first X-rays to advanced operative techniques—that enhance our lives and introduce the giants of orthopedic surgery who developed them.
From the dawn of civilization to today, humankind has repurposed bones to serve, protect, teach, amuse, and inspire. After it has supported vertebrate life, bone reveals itself in surprising ways—sometimes hundreds of millions of years later. With enthusiasm and humor, Meals investigates the diverse roles bone has played in human culture throughout history. He highlights allusions to the bone in religion and literature, from Adam’s rib to Hamlet’s skull, and uncovers its enduring presence as fossils, technological tools, and musical instruments ranging from the Tibetan thighbone dangling horn to everyday drumsticks.
Approachable and entertaining, Bones richly illuminates our bodies’ essential framework.
Hardcover: 259 pages