The Skeleton & Bones

The Skeleton & Bones category covers the bones and function of the human skeleton, the axial and appendicular skeleton, anatomy of the spine, types of joints including synovial joints, types and shapes of bones as well as joint actions and planes of movement.

The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones. The functions of the skeleton are to provide support, give our bodies shape, provide protection to other systems and organs of the body, to provide attachments for muscles, to produce movement and to produce red blood cells.

The Human Skeleton can be divided up into to two parts, the axial Skeleton which is the central core of the body and the appendicular skeleton which forms the extremeties of the arms and legs.

The spine consists of 33 bones or vertebrae, 24 of which are separate bones allowing movement and 9 which are fused together. The 5 sections of the spine or vertebral column are the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacrum which includes the coccyz.

A joint is the point where two or more bones meet. There are three main types of joints; Fibrous (immoveable), Cartilaginous (partially moveable) and the Synovial (freely moveable) joint.

There are 5 types of bones in the human body. These are long bones, short bones, flat bones, irregular bones and sesmoid bones. Here we outline the different types of bones in the human body and explain where they are foound. Test yourself at the bottom of the page with our interactive online flash cards.

There are three planes of motion in which we move. If you think about it, most of our movements are not straight up and down, or side to side etc, especially in sports. They tend to combine a mixture of movements in different planes.

It is important for bones to be strong to support our body weight and in some cases provide protection such as the skull and ribs. However, they must also be light enough to make movement possible.

The human skull contains 22 bones. 8 bones make up the cranium and the other 14 form the lower front of the skull, these are known as the facial bones.  

The Breastbone (Sternum) is a flat bone which runs down the middle of the front of the chest. The sternum consists of the manubrium; the corpus (body) and the xiphoid process. The main function of the breast bone is to work with the ribs to protect the lungs, heart and major blood vessels.

Red Blood Cell Production in the Human Bone

The Bone marrow contains two types of stem cells:

  1. Hematopoietic cells which can be used to make all the blood cell types in the body.
  2. Stromal cells which can produce fat, cartilage and bone.

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