Medical Terminology of the Skeletal System

Term Definition
Periosteum The tough fibrous tissue that forms the outermost covering of bone.
Cartilage The smooth, rubbery blue white connective tissue that acts as a shock absorber between bones.
Diaphysis The shaft of the long bone.
Epiphysis The wide end of the long bone which is covered with cartilage.
Articulations Connections between bones that allows motion between parts.
Suture The jagged line where bones join and form a joint that does not move.
Axial skeleton Has 80 bones and protects the major organs of the nervous, respiratory, and circulatory systems.
Appendicular skeleton Has 126 bones and makes body movement possible and also protects the organs of digestion, excretion, and reproduction.
Cranium The portion of the skull that encloses the brain.
Auditory ossicles The bones of the middle ear.
Zygomatic bones Cheekbones.
Mandible The lower jawbone.
Costals Ribs
Sternum Also know as the breastbone.
Xiphoid process The lower portion of the sternum which is made of cartilage.
Clavicle Also known as the collar bone.
Scapula Also know as the shoulder blade.
Humerus The bone of the upper arm.
Radius The smaller bone of the forearm. Runs up the thumb side.
Ulna The larger bone of the forearm. It articulates with the humerus to form the elbow joint.
Olecranon process Commonly known as the funny bone.
Carpals The bones of the wrist.
Metacarpals The bones that form the palm of the hand.
Phalanges The bones of the fingers and the toes.
Spinal column Also known as the vertebral column.
Cervical vertebrae The first set of 7 vertebrae theat form the neck.
Thoracic vertebrae The second set of 12 vertebrae that form the outward curve of the spine.
Lumbar vertebrae Make up the third set of 5 vertebrae that are the largest and strongest and form the inward curve of the spine.
Sacrum A slightly curved triangular shaped bone near the base of the spine.
Coccyx Also known as the tailbone.
Femur/femor/o The largest bone in the body, the upper leg, also known as the thigh bone.
Patella The kneecap.
Tibia The larger weight bearing bone in the anterior of the lower leg, also known as the shin bone.
Fibula The smaller of the two bones in the lower leg.
Ambi Both
Arthr/o Joint
Chondr/o Cartilage
Cost/o Rib
Inter between
-malacia softening
orth/o straight
oste/o bone
patell/o patellar (knee cap)
scoli/o crooked, curve
Arthritis Inflammation of the joints
Chondromalacia Softening of the cartilage
Osteoarthritis Inflammation of the bones and joints
Osteoporosis Pertaining to the porous condition of the bones
Scoliosis Condition of being bent
CXR Chest x-ray
FX fractures

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