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Lesson 8 - Appendicular Skeleton

Moving right along. Print the labelling picture and the term list here for this section here.
Then, print out the lecture handouts in your desired format:
Appendicular Skeleton lecture (full page)
Appendicular Skeleton lecture (2 per page)
Appendicular Skeleton lecture (3 per page)
Now, watch the movies:


Preview Questions    
(printable version)
Upper Extremities
8.1.  Now that the bones of the trunk are all discussed, we’ll get to the arms and legs. The shoulder girdle starts with the shoulder blade and the collar bone. What are the anatomical terms for those?
8.2.  If you reach one hand onto the opposite shoulder, your palm is touching the trapezius muscle. Your fingertips are likely resting on something harder, a ridge that goes across. That ridge is called the ‘spine of the scapula’. Above as well as below is a shallow depression (fossa), which is good for muscles to attach to. What are they called?
8.3.  If you put your fingers back onto the spine of the scapula and follow it to the shoulder, you can feel that the end widens and gets all bony. That is the place where the collar bone forms a joint with the scapula. What anatomical term is used for the lateral tip of the spine of the scapula?
8.4.  Now, I want you to put your hand over the front of your shoulder. You likely feel a rounding in the palm of your hand, that is the top of the upper arm bone where it attaches to the scapula. On the thumb / medial side right next is a bump that hurts if you press in hard. You can also find it by feeling the soft area just below your clavicle (collar bone), and following it laterally (to the outside) until you hit a bony thing sticking out. That process in the front of the scapula is a great attachment for multiple muscles that help stabilize the shoulder blade and also move the arm around. Can you tell me what the thing is called?
8.5.  This gets us to the upper arm bone. What is it’s anatomical name?
8.6.  The top round thing, the head, joins to the shallow part of the lateral side of the scapula, the glenoid cavity. Right where the rounding stops is known as the neck of the humerus, like in us, below the head is the neck. Then below that on the front / outside are 2 bumps that serve as muscle attachments. What are their names?
8.7.  Run your fingers from the top of your shoulder down on the side of the upper arm. You likely feel a muscles rounding the top part that then narrows down to come to a stop about mid-humeral level. If you press hard, that bump probably hurts a little because it’s a muscle attachment. What is it called?
8.8.  Now run a finger and thumb down the arm towards the elbow both on the inside and outside. You feel the humerus widen towards the end. Can you figure out what the inside bump is called?
8.9.  If you feel the tip of your elbow, you are actually touching the top end of one of two forearm bones that run parallel towards the wrist, one on the inside and one on the outside. Can you name those two bones?
8.10. Your wrist bends where the carpal bones are found. It’s a small area that holds a bunch of small looking bones (8 of them!) with difficult to remember names. They are the junction between your forearm and hand. The web of your hand is made up of metacarpals. How many of them do we have in each hand?
8.11. The fingers are quite remarkable. They are composed of three phalanges each, except for the pollex, the thumb. How many phalanges does it have?
Lower Extremities
8.12. Coolio, right to the legs; well the pelvis first. Remember the sacrum is the end of your spine. On each side attaches a big, roundish kind of flat bone. The two of them meet in the front right below the stomach. Put your hands on your side and feel the ridge of bone; it’s where one can conveniently carry a baby. Can you name that part of the pelvis?
8.13. In actuality, each pelvic hemisphere is made of three bones that fuse together, the ilium, ischium, and pubis; what names are those, right? You can see them in different colors on the picture that shows the bone from the side. The ilium on top is the largest portion. It connects to the spine on either side of the sacrum. Can you name those joints?
8.14. Putting your hand back onto the iliac crest, feel with your fingers until you find a distinct bump, an abrupt finish of the crest. Now look at the picture that shows the bone from the side. What bump are your fingers feeling?
8.15. If your sitting down, I want you to rock side to side a little and feel your sit bones. You should actually be sitting and balancing your spine on them when you sit instead of what most of us do, which is slouch and put extra pressure onto the lumbar part of the spine. What do anatomists call that part of the ischium?
8.16. In front, right below the stomach, you can feel a bar of bone. It actually has a joint in it! What is that part called?
8.17. The thigh bone has a round head that fits nicely into the pelvis. Can you name the socket on the pelvis it fits into?
8.18. If you palpate your hips by pushing in from the side at the top level of the thigh, you will feel a hard, bluntly rounded structure. It is a bony prominence that serves as a site for many muscles to attach, some that prevent your pelvis from falling down when you lift one leg (as in walking) and others that turn your foot out. Anyway, can you name that part of the femur?
8.19. Then, I want you to reach in the back of your thighs while you’re sitting. You will likely feel a muscle on either side. If you press deeper with your fingers, you will feel the back of your femur. Up and down the back is a rough line, which serves as a tremendous muscle attachment site. Many of the Quads, the muscles in front of your thigh that straighten your knee out attach back there. Muscles that reach medially onto the pubic bone and ischial tuberosity to pull the thigh medially also anchor into this posterior part of the femur. Can you name that line of bone roughage?
8.20. Now, lets grab your knee with the fingers circling around your kneecap, the patella. If your knee is bent and relaxed, you can feel the distal ends of your femur as you run your fingers deep next to the patella. What are these bluntly rounded bony ends called?
8.21. The knee is interesting, the top end of the tibia, your shin bone, is a plateau. The two ends of the femur (one on either side of the patella) curve from front to back. When we bend our knee, they roll on the plateau. Two plastic like, round, wedged structures guide the movement. What are those structures called?
8.22. Under the knee in front is a bump on the bone. It is the attachment site for the massive quads in front of your thighs. These are the strongest muscles we have in the body. They have to hold us up whenever we stand upright by straightening our knees. What’s that bump called?
8.23. The outside leg bone is the fibula. It doesn’t bear much weight, but helps absorb shock and stabilize the body from falling/collapsing to the outside. A thick ligament like fascial structure firmly holds the tibia and fibula together. What is that called?
8.24. Distally, both tibia and fibula widen and embrace the top ankle bone. What are the bumps on the distal two leg bones called?
8.25. When you walk and lift one leg, all the weight of your body comes down your one leg through the top ankle bone and gets distributed towards the back, where we have a heel bone, and to the front, where we ideally have multiple bones in rows making two arches that can absorb shock. What is the heel bone called?

Here is the section of the 'Anatomy Academy' for the appendicular skeleton. It is not mandatory, but can be helpful if reading about the terms helps you.
Here is an audio of the in-class presentation:
Watch this video to 'drill' your terms, since I use the models we test on to describe them.

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