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The Skeletal System

This report is supplying knowledge of the skeletal system by describing the main factors involved in the subject. The report contains the structure and function of the skeletal system, which describes how the skeleton is organised, bone classification and the skeleton's functions relating to the body systems as a whole; the gross and microstructure of bone, which describes the composition of bone; the process of ossification, which involves bone growth and formation; and factors which influence bone health such as bone infection, diseases and fractures.
Microstructure of Bone Tissue 6
Factors which Influence Bone Health 9
The skeletal system is made up of mostly bone but also tendons, ligaments and cartilage, which are arranged into a solid, rigid, structure that supports and protects our body (see diagram 1).
Bones develop during a lifetime, causing growth and change in appearance. The skeleton is necessary for survival as we would not be able to function or live without it. This report is intended to extend the basic knowledge of the skeletal system and inspire continued learning in the subject and its relating body systems.
The skeleton is made up of two parts, the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton (see diagram 2). The axial skeleton includes the skull, the vertebral column and the thoracic cage. The appendicular skeleton includes the bones of the upper extremities, the lower extremities, the shoulder girdle and the pelvic girdle.
There are five main types of bone – long, short, flat, irregular and sesamoid. Long bones are bones that are longer than they are wide. Long bones include the humerus, femur etc. Short bones are usually small and "roughly cube shaped with vertical and horizontal dimensions approximately equal"(Applegate, 1995). Short bones include the phalanges, metacarpals etc. Flat bones are flattened, thin and usually curved. They make up most of the skull, the ribs e…

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