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Periosteum vs. Endosteum: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 22, 2024
Periosteum is a dense, fibrous membrane covering the outer surface of bones; endosteum lines the inner surface of bone cavities.

Key Differences

Periosteum envelops the bone's outer surface, providing a surface for muscle attachment and bone growth. Endosteum lines the inner cavity, playing a role in bone growth and repair from the inside.
The periosteum contains blood vessels and nerves, contributing to bone health and pain sensation. Endosteum is a thin layer, less vascularized, involved mainly in bone remodeling and marrow activities.
Periosteum has two layers: a fibrous outer layer and a cellular inner layer. Endosteum is a single, thin layer of connective tissue.
Injuries to the periosteum can affect bone growth and lead to pain due to its nerve supply. Damage to the endosteum can disrupt bone marrow and internal bone remodeling.
Periosteum is crucial for fracture healing, providing cells for bone regeneration. Endosteum aids in bone healing by contributing to the internal bone repair process.

Comparison Chart


Covers the outer surface of bones
Lines the inner surface of bone cavities


Dense, fibrous, two-layered membrane
Thin, single-layered lining


Muscle attachment, bone growth, pain sensation
Bone remodeling, marrow activities


Highly vascularized, contains nerves
Less vascularized, mainly connective tissue

Role in Bone Healing

Contributes cells for external bone repair
Involved in internal bone repair

Periosteum and Endosteum Definitions


Essential for bone health and maintenance.
The periosteum plays a key role in overall bone strength.


Lines the inner surface of bones.
The endosteum is crucial in regulating bone marrow activity.


Involved in bone growth and healing.
Fracture healing is aided by the periosteum.


Thin layer of connective tissue.
The endosteum helps in the repair of internal bone injuries.


Contains blood vessels and nerves.
The periosteum provides essential nutrients to bones.


Less vascularized than periosteum.
The endosteum has fewer blood vessels compared to the periosteum.


Outer membrane covering bones.
The periosteum is sensitive to injury, causing bone pain.


Involved in bone remodeling.
Bone thickness is partly controlled by the endosteum.


Two-layered, dense fibrous tissue.
Muscles are attached to bones via the periosteum.


Aids in bone marrow function.
Blood cell production is influenced by the endosteum.


The dense fibrous membrane covering the surface of bones except at the joints and serving as an attachment for muscles and tendons.


The thin layer of cells lining the medullary cavity of a bone.


A membrane surrounding a bone.


(biology) A membranous vascular layer of cells which line the medullary cavity of a bone; an internal periosteum.


The membrane of fibrous connective tissue which closely invests all bones except at the articular surfaces.


The layer of vascular connective tissue lining the medullary cavities of bone.


A dense fibrous membrane covering the surface of bones (except at their extremities) and serving as an attachment for tendons and muscles; contains nerves and blood vessels that nourish the enclosed bone


Vascular membrane that lines the inner surface of long bones


What is the periosteum made of?

The periosteum is made of dense fibrous connective tissue.

What's the role of endosteum in bone health?

The endosteum plays a key role in bone remodeling and marrow activity.

Is the periosteum present in all bones?

The periosteum covers most bones, except at joints and certain areas.

Does the endosteum contain nerves?

The endosteum has fewer nerves compared to the periosteum.

Can the periosteum regenerate?

Yes, the periosteum can regenerate and is crucial for bone healing.

Where is the endosteum located?

The endosteum lines the inner surface of bone cavities.

How does the periosteum affect bone growth?

The periosteum contributes to bone width growth and repair.

Is the endosteum a single layer?

Yes, the endosteum is a thin, single layer of tissue.

Is the endosteum important for bone marrow health?

Yes, the endosteum regulates functions of the bone marrow.

Do periosteum injuries cause pain?

Yes, due to its nerve supply, periosteum injuries can be painful.

What cells are found in the endosteum?

The endosteum contains osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and bone lining cells.

Does the endosteum contribute to fracture healing?

Yes, the endosteum is involved in the internal healing of fractures.

Does the periosteum contain osteoblasts?

Yes, the periosteum contains osteoblasts for bone formation.

How does aging affect the periosteum?

Aging can thin the periosteum, affecting its protective function.

Can endosteum be damaged?

Yes, endosteum can be damaged, affecting internal bone processes.

Does the endosteum change in osteoporosis?

In osteoporosis, changes in endosteum can affect bone density and strength.

What happens if the periosteum is removed?

Removal of the periosteum can impair bone growth and repair.

Can diseases affect the periosteum?

Yes, diseases like osteomyelitis can affect the periosteum.

Is the periosteum vascular?

Yes, the periosteum is highly vascularized.

What's the difference in pain sensation between periosteum and endosteum?

The periosteum is more sensitive to pain due to its nerve supply, unlike the endosteum.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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