The Structure of the Skeletal System

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  • The structure of the skeletal system
    • Functions: The skeletal system has five particular functions which are linked directly to it's structure
      • SHAPE for maintaining our basic body shape
      • SUPPORT for muscles and vital organs
      • PROTECTION, such as the skull protecting the brain
      • MOVEMENT at joints
      • BLOOD-CELL PRODUCTION in the bone marrow
    • Joints: The skeletal system can only allow movement to happen when it is joined up by the muscular system. All movement occurs at joints, which fall into these categories
      • BALL AND SOCKET such as the hip and shoulder
      • HINGE such as the elbow and the knee
      • PIVOT such as the wrist
      • GLIDING such as the bones in the hand
      • CANDYLOID such as the wrist
      • SADDLE such as the thumb
    • Connective Tissue: Connective tissue links the bone to muscles, there are three types of connective tissue
      • LIGAMENTS are bands of fibre attached to the bones that link the joints. They help keep the joints stable
      • CARTILAGE is a tough but flexible tissue that acts as a buffer between the bones and the joints. This can be seen at the ends of the femur and tibia.
      • TENDONS are very strong, non elastic cords that join the muscles to the bone. They can be seen joining the quadriceps muscle to the patella
    • Bones: The skeletal system is made up of bones, these fall into the following four categories
      • FLAT (OR PLATE) BONES such as the skull
      • LONG BONES such as the femur
      • IRREGULAR BONES such as the vertebrae
      • SHORT BONES such as the carpels and tarsals


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