Skeletal system anatomy and physiology

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Skeletal system anatomy and physiology


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Skeletal system anatomy and physiology

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We all have 206 bones, and together they make up the skeleton which gives the body structure, protects important organs like the brain and heart, and allows muscles to facilitate movement.

Without bones you’d be a shapeless, immobile blob.

Normally, the skeleton can be broken down into the axial and the appendicular skeleton.

The axial skeleton consists of bones located along the vertical axis of your body. It contains 80 bones; 22 bones that make up the skull, 33 vertebrae, 24 ribs, and the sternum.

The appendicular skeleton consists of bones in your limbs as well as the bones that attach the limb bones to the axial skeleton, like the pelvis and the scapulae.

The appendicular skeleton is made up of around 126 bones; 4 bones in both shoulders, 6 bones in the arms, 54 bones in the hands, 2 hip bones that form the pelvic girdle, 8 bones in the legs, and 52 bones in the feet.

Now there are 5 types of bones based on their shape - long bones, short bones, flat bones, sesamoid bones, and irregular bones.

Long bones are longer than they are wide, and they’re in the limbs and include the humerus, radius, and ulna in the arms; as well as the metacarpals and phalanges of the hand and fingers.

Long bones also include the femur, tibia, and fibula in the leg as well as metatarsals and phalanges of the feet and toes.


The skeletal system is made up of bones, cartilage, and other connective tissues that provide support and structure to the body. The primary functions of the skeletal system are to protect internal organs, provide support for the body, allow for movement, produce blood cells, and store minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.

Bones are living tissues that are constantly undergoing remodeling, a process in which old bone tissue is broken down and new bone tissue is formed. Bone tissue is composed of cells called osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts, as well as a matrix of collagen and mineral salts such as calcium and phosphorus.

Cartilage is a type of connective tissue that provides cushioning and support to joints. It is composed of cells called chondrocytes and a matrix of collagen and proteoglycans. Other connective tissues include ligaments and tendons, which help to connect bones to other bones and muscles, respectively.


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  2. "Physiology" Elsevier (2017)
  3. "Human Anatomy & Physiology" Pearson (2018)
  4. "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology" Wiley (2014)
  5. "On estimating the directionality distribution in pedicle trabecular bone from micro-CT images" Physiological Measurement (2014)
  6. "Crisóstomo Martínez, 1638-1694 <e1>The Discoverer of Trabecular Bone" Endocrine (2002)
  7. "Regulation of cortical and trabecular bone mass by communication between osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts" Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (2014)
  8. "Normal bone anatomy and physiology" Clin J Am Soc Nephrol (2008)

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