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The humerus is the only bone in the upper arm. Like many of the long bones in the body, the humerus has a proximal end, shaft, and distal end. Proximal refers to the area closest to the center of the body -- the shoulder. Distal is the end of the bone closest to the elbow.

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1. Structure and Functions

Long bones like the humerus support a significant load while the arm carries out various functions, and has a specific internal structure. The outside of the bone has a layer of connective tissue -- the periosteum. The outer layer of the bone itself is hard and compact, surrounding an internal layer of spongy cancellous bone. The innermost medullary cavity contains the bone marrow.

long bone structure roxanabalint / Getty Images
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