Definition (Periostem): This is the fibro-vasculo-cellular layer covering the external surface of bone, expect the articular surface.





The outer surface of bone, other than the articular surface is covered by a fibro-vascular layer called periosteum.

Structure: It consists of two layers:

  1. Outer fibrous layer: It consists of dens fibrous connective tissue and contains a network of blood vessels.
  2. Inner osteogenic layer: It is composed of more loosely arranged connective tissue, some collagenous fibers and connective tissue cells.


  1. Periosteum provides medium through which muscles, tendons & ligaments are attached to bone.
  2. As it is more vascular, it forms avascular bed from which it sends capillaries to nourish the underlying bone.
  3. The periosteum helps in bone forming during the growth period and during repair of fracture.
  4. It prevents overgrowth of bone.
  5. Fibrous layer acts as a limiting membrane, which keeps the osteogenic layer in the proper position.

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