Friday, September 3, 2010

Stapes, the smallest wonder bone of us!

We, the human beings, are the medium-sized member in the Mammal group of this world. We bear in our body the smallest bone that measures only 3mm in length and 3mg in weight! It is the Stapes bone (Stirrup bone). It is one of the three auditory ossicles (bones) found in the Middle ear of us, one on each side. It is the innermost bone. The other bones are the Incus present in the middle and the Malleus in the outer side.

Stapes conducts or transfers the sound waves that impact on the tympanic membrane (the Ear drum) and travel through the Malleus (Hammer bone) and the Incus (Anvil bone), to the Inner ear. Thus it serves as a part of the 'Ossicles bridge' that is formed with the other two bones, so that we can receive the sounds from the external world with the help of this bridge. We can also infer from this the importance of this bone, Stapes, as when it becomes immobile and fixed in disease, our hearing will be impaired. The diseased condition of the bone is called Osteosclerosis. In it we hear a continuous ringing sound inside the ear (tinnitus), and also have giddiness (vertigo). To get treated for this and restore our hearing ability, we shall have to wear a Hearing-aid or subject ourselves to a surgery on the Stapes (Stapedectomy).

Such is the greatness of our wonder bone, the Stapes, the smallest wonder in our body that aids in our hearing, the greatest wealth among all those we have in this world!

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