Skeletal Structure System: Simple Overview

Sketetal structure & system overview of the human.

The skeleton is composed of 206 bones. It gives the human body form as well as allows movement. Bones act as a reservoir for important chemicals such as calcium and phosphorus.

The production of red blood cells takes place within the bones themselves. The skeleton acts as a framework to which muscles are attached. The ribs are especially important in regards to the protection of vital organs located not only in the thorax and pelvic area but within the cranium.

The cranium is divided into the occiput or posterior region. On each side of the cranium you will find the temporal regions. Between the occiput and the temporal regions lie the parietal. The forehead is known as the frontal region.

The face is made up of six bones. The nasal bone, two zygomas ( cheek bones ), two maxillae ( the upper cheek bones ) and the mandible or the lower jaw bone.

The neck is supported by seven bones ( known as vertebrae ). This area is referred to as the cervical area or C1 through C7. Below the cervical lies the twelve thoracic vertebrae. This area is referred to as the thorax ( the chest area ) and is comprised of twelve pairs of ribs. The clavicle or collar bone is located in the upper area in the front and articulates with the scapula ( known as the shoulder blade ). The area that is comprised of the twelve vertebrae is often referred to as T1 through T12. T1 through T10 articulates with the ribs and then to the chest bone. ( The sternum ). T11 and T12 are known as floating ribs because they do not attach to the sternum.

Below T12 is the lumbar or lower back. It is made up of five vertebrae. This area is referred to as L1 through L5. Here is where the most common of back problems occur. The strain of heavy lifting is often the reason.

Below the Lumbar area you will find the five sacral vertebrae. These comprise the sacrum. These five vertebrae fuse into one bone.

The sacrum is attached to the iliac bones via strong ligaments. This attachment makes up the sacroiliac joints and forms the pelvic girdle. The lower extremities articulate with the pelvis.

The final three or four vertebrae form the coccyx ( also commonly called the tail bone ).

The upper extremities are comprised of the humerus ( the upper arm ), the ulna and the radial ( the forearm ) There are eight carpals ( the wrist ),eight metacarpals and fourteen phalanges that form the hand.

The lower extremities are comprised of the femur ( the upper leg ),the patella 9 or knee cap ), the tibia and the fibula ( the lower leg ) and the bones that form the feet. These bones are the talus,or the ankle bone. the talus articulates with the calcaneus ( the heel ).These two bones plus five others make up the tarsal bones or the rear portion of the foot. Five metatarsal bones form the foot itself. The five toes are formed by fourteen phalanges in the same way that the fingers of the hands are formed.

There are many "land marks" located on each and every bone of the body. Knowing the major bones of the human skeleton will aid you in simple identification. To learn the skeletal system in more detail I would suggest any good book on human anatomy.

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