Short bones are shaped roughly as a cube and contain mostly spongy bone. The outside surface is comprised of a thin layer of compact bone. Short bones are located in the hands and feet. The patella (kneecap) is also considered a short bone.
Review Date 7/7/2019
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.