Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

164 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
  • 3rd side (hint)

skeletal system

system consisting of bones, cartilages, joints, and ligaments; roughly 20% of body mass

long bones

bones longer than they are wide; limb bones

short bones

cube-shaped bones; wrists and ankles

sesamoid bones

special type of short bones, form within tendons; patella (kneecap)

flat bones

thin bones; sternum, skull

irregular bones

bones with complicated shapes; vertebrae, hip bones

bone markings

projections, depressions, and openings on bone surfaces that serve as sites of muscle, ligament, and tendon attachment, as joint surfaces, or as conduits for blood vessels and nerves

1. attachment sites (muscles, ligaments, tendons)

2. joint surfaces

3. passageways (blood vessels, nerves)

3 functions of bone markings

1. tuberosity

2. tubercle

3. crest

4. line

5. spine

6. trochanter

7. epicondyle

8. process

8 attachment sites (bone markings)


large rounded projection


small rounded projection


narrow ridge of bone


narrow ridge of bone; less prominent than a crest


sharp pointed process


large, irregular-shaped projection


projection above a condyle


any bone prominence

1. head

2. facet

3. condyle

4. ramus

5. fossa

5 joint surfaces (bone markings)


bony expansion carried on a narrow neck


smooth, nearly flat articular surface


rounded articular projection


armlike bar of bone


shallow depression in a bone

1. groove (sulcus)

2. fissure

3. foramen

4. notch

5. meatus

6. sinus

6 passageways (bone markings)

groove (sulcus)



narrow, slitlike opening


round or oval opening through a bone


indentation at the edge of a structure


canal-like passageway in a bone


cavity within a bone; filled with air and lined with mucous membrane

1. axial skeleton

2. appendicular skeleton

2 divisions of the skeletal system

axial skeleton

group of 80 bones forming the long axis of the body; protect, support, or carry other body parts

1. skull

2. vertebral column

3. thoracic cage

3 major regions of the axial skeleton


the body's most complex bony structure; 22 cranial and facial bones

1. cranium (8 cranial bones)

2. face (14 facial bones)

2 parts of the skull and their # of bones

cranium (cranial bones)

encloses and protects the brain, and furnishes attachment sites for head and neck muscles; 8 bones

1. frontal

2-3. parietal (x2)

4. occipital

5-6. temporal (x2)

7. sphenoid

8. ethmoid

8 bones of the cranium

frontal bone [1]

anterior bone of the cranium

parietal bones [2-3]

superiolateral bones of the cranium

occipital bone [4]

cranial bone forming the posterior aspect and most of the base of the skull

foramen magnum

passageway where the spinal cord meets the brain stem

occipital condyle

where the skull articulates with the atlas vertebra (C1)

temporal bones [5-6]

inferiolateral bones of the cranium; contribute to the middle cranial fossa

zygomatic arch

connection place of temporal and zygomatic bone; cheek bone

external auditory (acoustic) meatus

external ear canal, where sound enters

sphenoid bone [7]

butterfly-shaped keystone of the cranium; articulates with all the other bones

sella turcica

where the pituitary gland sits in the sphenoid bone

ethmoid bone [8]

cranial bone forming much of the medial orbit and nasal cavities; helps form the anterior cranial fossa


interlocking joints uniting the skull bones

1. coronal

2. sagittal

3. squamous

4. lambdoid

4 major sutures of the skull

coronal suture

parietal-frontal suture

sagittal suture

parietal-parietal suture

lambdoid suture

parietal-occipital suture

squamous suture

parietal-temporal suture

cranial fossae

bony ridges dividing the skull base (anterior, middle, and posterior)

1. facial framework

2. facial muscles

3. air/food

4. teeth

5. sensory cavities

5 purposes of the facial bones

1. mandible

2-3. maxilla (x2)

4-5. zygomatic (x2)

6-7. lacrimal (x2)

8-9. palatine (x2)

10-11. nasal (x2)

12. vomer

14. inferior nasal conchae (x2)

14 facial bones

mandible [1]

lower jaw bone, largest and strongest bone of the face

mandibular condyle

part of the mandible that articulates with the temporal bones, forming the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

maxilla [2-3]

upper jaw bones; articulate with most other facial bones

zygomatic [4-5]

facial bones that form the cheeks and part of the orbits

lacrimal [6-7]

facial bones that form the medial orbit walls

palatine [8-9]

facial bones that form the posterior portion of the hard palate

nasal [10-11]

facial bones that form the bridge of the nose

vomer [12]

facial bone forming the inferior part of the nasal septum

inferior nasal conchae [13-14]

facial bones that project from the lateral walls of the nasal cavity

1. orbits (7)

2. nasal cavity (9)

2 restricted regions of the skull and the # of bones forming them

paranasal sinuses

mucosa-lined, air-filled cavities found in the skull bones

1. frontal

2. ethmoid

3. sphenoid

4. maxilla

4 locations of paranasal sinuses

1. warm air

2. lighten the skull

3. resonate the voice

3 functions of the paranasal sinuses


"soft spots" where bones grow and fit together; compressed during childbirth

1. anterior

2. posterior

3. sphenoidal

4. mastoid

4 main fontanelles

hyoid bone

bone that has attachment points for neck muscles (swallowing and speech); does not articulate with any other bone

vertebral column (spine)

the axial support of the trunk, from the skull to the pelvis; transmits weight to lower limbs

vertebrae (26)

bones of the vertebral column

1. cervical (7)

2. thoracic (12)

3. lumbar (5)

4. sacrum (5 fused)

5. coccyx (4 fused)

5 divisions of the vertebral column and their # of vertebrae

1. cervical (concave)

2. thoracic (convex)

3. lumbar (concave)

4. sacral (convex)

4 curvatures of the vertebral column giving it its S shape (support, stability, springiness)

1. scoliosis

2. kyphosis

3. lordosis

3 abnormalities of the vertebral column


abnormal lateral curvature of the vertebral column, most often in the thoracic region; common in childhood, particularly in girls

kyphosis (hunchback)

exaggerated thoracic curvature; common in elderly people (because of osteoporosis)

lordosis (swayback)

exaggerated lumbar curvature; common in pregnant woman

longitudinal ligaments

major supporting ligaments of the vertebral column

anterior longitudinal ligaments

vertebral ligaments attached to both the vertebrae and the discs; resists hyperextension (bending too far backward)

posterior longitudinal ligaments

vertebral ligaments attached only to the discs; resists hyperflexion (bending too far forward)

ligamentum flavum

vertebral ligament connecting adjacent vertebrae

intervertebral discs

fibrocartilage pads forming cushions between the body of each vertebra; 25% of the height of the vertebral column

nucleus pulposus

inner gelatinous "rubber ball" that gives the vertebrae their elasticity and compressibility

anulus fibrosus

strong collar surrounding the nucleus pulposus, limiting its expansion

1. collagen fibers (outside)

2. fibrocartilage (inside)

2 constituents of the anulus fibrosus

herniated disc (slipped disc)

rupture of the anulus fibrosus allowing the nucleus pulposus to protrude; can press on the spinal cord or nerves

1. body (centrum)

2. arch

2 main parts of a vertebra

spinous process

posterior projection of a vertebra

vertebral foramen

opening through each vertebra

vertebral canal

long canal through which the spinal cord passes, created by successive vertebral foramina

1. flexion and extension

2. lateral flexion

3. rotation

3 movements that can occur between vertebrae

cervical vertebrae

smallest, lightest vertebrae; triangular, large foramen

atlas (C1)

vertebra that carries the skull ("yes" movement), articulates with the occipital condyles, no body or spinous process

axis (C2)

vertebra that allows the atlas to pivot ("no" movement) due to the knoblike dens

dens (odontoid process)

knoblike projection of the axis vertebra; "missing body" of the atlas

thoracic vertebrae

vertebrae that articulate with the ribs; increase in size from first to last; "giraffe"

lumbar vertebrae

massive, kidney-shaped vertebrae; weight-bearing; "moose"


triangular bone forming the posterior wall of the pelvis; five fused vertebrae


small triangular tailbone; four fused vertebrae

thoracic cage (bony thorax)

forms a protective cage around the vital organs of the thoracic cavity, supports limbs, site of muscle attachment

1. sternum

2. ribs

2 parts of the thoracic cage

sternum (breastbone)

flat bone lying on the anterior midline of the thorax

1. manubrium

2. body

3. xiphoid process

3 fused bones of the sternum


part of the sternum that articulates with the clavicles and costal cartilages 1-2


part of the sternum that articulates with the costal cartilages 2-7

xiphoid process

small part of the sternum that serves as an attachment point for abdominal muscles


twelve pairs of thoracic cage bones that articulate with the vertebrae

true ribs

superior ribs that attach directly to the sternum via costal cartilages (1-7)

costal cartilages

bars of hyaline cartilage attaching the ribs to the sternum

intercostal spaces

spaces between the ribs occupied by muscles

false ribs

inferior ribs that attach indirectly to the sternum or not at all (8-12)

floating ribs

ribs with no anterior attachments (11-12)

appendicular skeleton

bones of the limbs and their girdles; movement and manipulation

pectoral girdles

attach the upper limbs to the body trunk

1. clavicle

2. scapula

2 bones of the pectoral girdle

clavicles (collarbones)

slender, S-shaped bones that extend horizontally across the superior thorax; anchor muscles and act as braces

scapulae (shoulder blades)

triangular, flat bones on the dorsal surface of the rib cage; forms the shoulder joint

glenoid cavity

shoulder blade cavity that articulates with the humerus, forming the shoulder joint

1. arm

2. forearm

3. hand

3 parts of the upper limb


the proximal portion of the upper limb


the sole bone of the arm, semi-spherical head

1. glenoid cavity (shoulder)

2. olecranon process (elbow)

2 places the humerus articulates


hourglass-shaped distal end of the humerus; articulates with the ulna

olecranon fossa

distal part of the humerus that receives the olecranon of the forearm


the middle portion of the upper limb

1. radius

2. ulna

2 bones of the forearm


medial, longer bone of the forearm; strong articulation with the elbow joint

olecranon (elbow)

forms part of a hinge that allows the forearm to bend and straighten

trochlear notch

concavity of the ulna where the trochlea fits, allowing the forearm to bend and straighten

ulnar styloid process

distal bump of the ulna; ligament runs from here to the wrist


the lateral, shorter bone of the forearm; strong articulation with the wrist/hand

radial styloid process

distal bump of the radius; anchoring site for ligaments that run to the wrist


the distal portion of the upper limb

1. carpus (8)

2. metacarpus (5)

3. phalanges (14)

3 parts of the hand and their # of bones


the wrist; 8 small bones


the palm; 5 bones labeled 1-5 (lateral to medial)


the fingers; 14 bones

pelvic girdle

attaches the lower limbs to the axial skeleton

1. sacrum

2. os coxae (hip bones)

2 parts of the pelvic girdle

1. ilium

2. pubis

3. ischium

3 parts of the hip bone (coxal bone)


large flaring bone that forms the superior part of the coxal bone

greater sciatic notch

posterior indentation where the sciatic nerve enters the thigh


the anterior, inferior part of the coxal bone

pubic symphysis

where the two pubic bones join; separated by a fibrocartilage disc


posterior, inferior part of the coxal bone


pelvic socket that receives the head of the femur; the hip joint

1. pubic arch (wider angle in females)

2. pelvic brim (wider, oval in females)

2 differences between the pelvis of males and females

1. thigh

2. leg

3. foot

3 segments of each lower limb

femur (thigh)

the largest, strongest bone of the body

patella (knee cap)

triangular sesamoid bone that protects knee

1. tibia

2. fibula

2 parallel bones of the leg


medial, weight-bearing bone of the leg

medial malleolus

medial bulge of the ankle (tibia)


sticklike, lateral bone of the leg; does not bear weight

lateral malleolus

lateral bulge of the ankle (fibula)

1. tarsus (7)

2. metatarsus (5)

3. phalanges (14)

3 parts of the foot and their # of bones


the ankle; 7 smaller bones

1. talus (ankle)

2. calcaneus (heel bone)

2 large tarsals that carry most of the body's weight


allow the foot to hold up weight

1. medial longitudinal

2. transverse

3. lateral longitudinal

3 arches of the foot