Limb skeleton

Limb development video  [Interactive video text]

The limbs develop from in situ differentiation of the mesenchyme. The surrounding ectoderm induces the mesenchyme to form cartilaginous models for the subsequent development of bones. These models are iniatially continuous, spanning throughout the entire length of the limb bud. The latter appears at about 5th weeks of gestation. The cartilagninous models then start to develop interzones which are the areas destined to become synovial joints.

These interzones wll initially have cartilage cells degenerate and they will now be replaced by tissues that will form synovial membrane, and after this the formation of intracapsular structures like the articular cartilages, meniscus and the extracapsular tissue will develop from surrounding mesenchyme, which were originally destined to become models to form articular ligaments and the articular capsules.

Formation of intracapsular bursae is similar to the formation of joints. The bursae leads to the formation of synovial membrane, which allows the accumulation of fluid. It then communicates with joints in such bursae which have such communication. This communication is formed by break down of tissue that separates the joints from bursae. They are found in areas of intense friction. The superficial bursae such as the prepatellar bursa, develops post natally as opposed to the deeply placed bursae which develop antenatally.




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