Sharpey’s fibers

Sharpey’s fibers are a matrix of connective tissue consisting of bundles of strong predominantly type I collagen fibers connecting periosteum to bone.

They are part of the outer fibrous layer of periosteum, entering into the outer circumferential and interstitial lamellae of bone tissue.

They are  used to attach muscle to the periosteum of bone by merging with the fibrous periosteum and underlying bone as well; attachment of the rotator cuff muscles to the blade of the scapula.

In the teeth, Sharpey’s fibres are the terminal ends of principal fibers of the periodontal ligament that insert into the cementum and into the periosteum of the alveolar bone.

Sharpey’s fibers act as a buffer medium against stress. 

In the skull the main function of Sharpey’s fibers is to bind the cranial bones in a firm but moveable manner; they are most numerous in areas where the bones are subjected to the greatest forces of separation. 

In the spine, similar fibres join the intervertebral disc to the adjacent vertebrae.

Each fiber is accompanied by an arteriole and one or more nerve fibers.

The pain associated with shin splints is caused from a disruption of Sharpey’s fibers that connect the medial soleus fascia through the periosteum of the tibia where it inserts into the bone.

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