Skeletal System Vocabulary & Diseases

appendicular skeleton
Bones of the arm, hands, legs, feet, shoulders, and pelvic
appositional growth
Cartilage-forming cells secrete new matrix against the already existing cartilage
articular cartilage
Covers the ends of bone, protection during movement and cushions jars and blows to the joint
axial skeleton
Portion of the skeletal system that consists of the skull, rib cage, and vertebral column
body callus
Osteoblasts replace cartilage with bone
bone marking
bones display projections, depressions, and openings that serve as sites of muscle, ligament, and tendon attachment, as joint surfaces, or as conduits for blood vessels
Hairlike canals that connect lacunae to each other and the central canal
A connective tissue that is more flexible than bone and that protects the ends of bones and keeps them from rubbing together.
central (haversian) canal
opening in the center of the osteon, carries blood vessels and nerves
compact bone
Hard, dense bone tissue that is beneath the outer membrane of a bone
Elongated shaft of a long bone.
epiphyseal line
Lies between the diaphysis and epiphysis and is remnant of epiphyseal plate (growth plate)
epiphyseal plate
Growth plate, made of cartilage, gradually ossifies
End of a long bone
fibrocartilage callus
formed during bone healing, a mix of cartilage matrix, bone matrix, and collagen fibers
flat bone
Provide a broad surface for muscular attachment and protection – bones of ribs, shoulder blades, pelvis and skull
Gaps between a baby’s skull that slowly close up during the first 18 months of life
A break or a crack in a bone
A swelling caused by the collection of blood under the skin or in damaged tissues as a result of an injured or broken blood vessel
irregular bone
Have complex shapes with short flat notched or rigid surfaces.The spinal vertebrae, the bones of the pelvis, and several skull bones are irregular bones.

joint (articulation)
The place where two bones come into contact
Fluid cavities that contain osteocytes and reside in lamellae
Concentric rings made up of groups of hollow tubes of bone matrix
Connective tissue that connects bone to bone
long bone
A type of bone that is longer than it is wide. Shaft is called the diaphysis and the ends are knows as epiphysis. Examples include the femur, humerus, and phalanges.
medullary cavity
cavity within the shaft of the long bones filled with bone marrow
Bone formation
Bone-building cells
Bone-destroying cells
Bone cells
osteon (haversian system)
fundamental unit of compact bone
perforating (sharpey’s) fibers
fibers of the periosteum that penetrate into the bone
perforating (volksmann’s) canals
canal perpendicular to central canal
A dense fibrous membrane covering the surface of bones (except at their extremities) and serving as an attachment for tendons and muscles.
primary curvature
The spinal curvatures present at birth; thoracic and sacral curvatures
red marrow
Material found in some bones that produces blood cells.
secondary curvature
curvatures of cervical and lumbar regions; develop after birth
short bone
Cubed-shaped. Nearly in length and width.

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Texture is spongy except for the thin layer of compact bone at the surface. Found in wrist and ankle

Air-filled cavity within a bone
skeletal system
Protects and supports body organs and provides a framework the muscles use to support movement. Made up of bones and joints
spongy bone
Layer of bone tissue having many small spaces and found just inside the layer of compact bone.
yellow marrow
Found mostly at the end of bones in adults, it is made mainly of fat.
– A bursa is a small, closed bag with a minimum amount of lubricatory fluid that serves as a shock absorber where bones make close contact and to minimize trauma and friction where tendons cross bones and joints. Inflammation leads to pain and immobility in a joint area.
A malignant bone tumor derived from cartilage cells that usually affects people in their 40s and 50s
gouty arthritis
Inflammation and painful swelling of joints caused by excessive uric acid in the body
herniated disk
the breaking apart of an intervertebral disk that results in pressure on spinal nerve roots
Abnormally high concentrations of calcium circulating in the blood instead of being stored in the bones
Abnormal condition of outward curvature (convexity) of the thoracic spine.


Abnormal increase in the forward curvature of the lumbar spine
Chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints
A condition in which the body’s bones become weak and break easily.
Bone cancer
rheumatoid arthritis
A chronic systemic disease characterized by inflammation of the joints, stiffness, pain, and swelling that results in crippling deformities
Bones of a child with rickets are soft and tend to bend due to lack of Vitamin D and Calcium
A lateral curvature of the spine.

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