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Intro to Anatomy 1 (BONES/JOINTS)

Updated on September 5, 2014

An Introduction to Anatomy of the Human Body

I completed Anatomy and Human Physiology classes in college and I hope to help myself study for my future endeavors as well as have a good place to combine knowledge and resources I have found to be helpful throughout the classes. While I was in school I hand drew the bone anatomy pictures seen throughout the lens and prepared many materials to help complete the course. You will be happy to know that because of my excessive research you will have a much easier time gathering the resources necessary to learn bone anatomy. Best of luck to you on your endeavors.

Please check out my other sites

- Intro to Medical Terminology

- Intro to Anatomy (MUSCLES)

- Intro to Anatomy (BRAIN/NERVES)

- First Aid

Image courtesy of Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator; C. Carl Jaffe, MD, cardiologist.

BODY Terminology - A helpful guide to Directions, Planes and Axes on the body

One of the most important aspect to remember in anatomy is the terminology for directions, planes and axes on the human body. This allows medical professionals to discuss anatomy without always having a person or example right in front of them. By saying certain words they convey a certain meaning across all disciplines in medicine. If you want to know more about medical terminology I suggest checking out my medical terminology lens for more details.


  • Anterior (ventral) vs Posterior (dorsal) = Front vs Back (behind)
  • Distal vs Proximal = Away vs Toward (in reference to the body core or another body part)
  • External vs Internal = Inside of body vs outside of body
  • Medial vs Lateral = Toward the middle of the body vs Towards the sides of the body
  • Superficial vs Deep = Close to body surface vs Deep inside the body
  • Superior (cephalic) vs Inferior (caudal) = Above vs Below



An imaginary sheet that is used as a way to slice the body in order to be more specific with reference to location and dimension of the body. It is also important for understanding movements and how to classify each movement. There are 3 dimensions: Width, Length, Height. Each Plane is made up of two of those dimensions much like measuring a dresser as 2'W x 5'L x 4'H.

In this Example:

  • Width (W) = side to side, (measuring in the direction of arm to arm)
  • Length (L) = front to back, (measuring in the direction of stomach to back)
  • Height (H) = top to bottom (measuring in the direction of head to feet)


  • Frontal Plane is (W) x (H),
  • Horizontal Plane is (W) x (L),
  • Median Plane is (L) x (H).


  • Frontal/Coronal Plane: Runs parallel to the body between the front and back(WxH)
  • Horizontal/Transverse: Runs perpendicular (horizontal) to the body (WxL)
  • Median/Sagittal Plane: Runs parallel to the body between the sides (LxH)



This is the center of any movement and will show where the rotation begins. An axis emerges perpendicularly from the center of each plane. If the plane were to spin then the axis would be the center of that movement. Think of a game spinner when you flick the arrow and it spins round and round its movement is like that of your extremities.

Frontal: A line perpendicular to the sagittal plane which crosses its center. (side to side)

  • Example Movement:: flexion/extension, etc..

Vertical: A line perpendicular to the horizontal plane which crosses its center. (top to bottom)

  • Example Movement: rotation, supination/pronation, etc.

Sagittal: A line perpendicular to the frontal plane which crosses its center. (front to back)

  • Example Movement:abduction/adduction, etc..

Learn more about the planes and axes in this super easy and helpful guide

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

JOINT Types (6)

Joint Types
Joint Types

Joints are the way the body allows movement between two bones. There are many kinds of joints each with different kinds of movement. Certain bone are attached in a way that allows very little movement such as the bones that make the pelvis. This allows the pelvis to remain very strong and rigid. Other bones like the shoulder to the arm are structured to create a lot of movement. Allowing you to throw a ball or do pushups. Joints can be structured for strength or flexibility and in some cases muscles and ligaments may also be actively helping to keep the joint in place.

Ball and Socket:

---Movement: rotation, circumduction, ab/adduction, flexion/extension, horizontal ab/adduction

---Ex. Glenohumeral Joint (humerus bone meets the scapula or shoulder bone)


---Movement: flexion/extension,some ab/adduction

---Ex. Radiocarpal joint (Radius bone meets the Carpal bones)


---Movement: flexion/extension, ad/abduction

---Ex. Sternoclavicular joint, 1st Carpometacarpal joint.


---Movement: flexion/extension

---Ex. Elbow Joint, Interphalangeal Joints, Knee joint.

---***Some Hinge joints such as the knee are modified to have some additional movement***


---Movement: medial/lateral rotation

---Ex. Proximal radioulnar joint, Distal radioulnar joint.


---Movement: slight sliding and gliding horizontally on the joint in all directions.

---Ex. 2nd-5th Carpometacarpal joints.

Learn about the joints

Image courtesty of Produnis with some slight changes to the original picture.

BONE Types (6)

There are 6 in all

Just like different joints serve different function so to do bone types. Some bones are meant to protect such as the ribs or spine, others are meant for large movement and some perform very delicate tasks. Here are the bone types found in the human body.

Long: Typical bone type (ex. like a dog bone), long, straight + sometimes rounded ends.

-----Ex. Humerus, Femur, Radius, Ulna, Tibia, Fibula, etc..

Short; Very small bones in the hands and feet.

-----Ex. Carpal and Tarsal bones.

Irregular: Strange shape, doesn't really fit into another category.

-----Ex. temporal bone, skull bones with facial features, etc...

Flat: Protective bones that are smooth and flat

-----Ex. Top of cranium, ribs, sternum, etc...

Sesamoid: A bone that is attached to bones by ligaments

-----Ex. Patella, bones at the base of the 1st proximal phalanx, etc...

Accessory: An extra bone not usually found in the body.

-----Ex. Accessory navicular bone (two separate bones instead of one), etc...

Basic Injury Analysis

Muscles, Ligaments, Nerves

One key detail to learning about anatomy is being able to apply the information to real life situations. However, for beginning the process of learning about anatomy it makes sense to put some rule on yourself to make it easier to learn the basics while still being able to theorize about possible causes for injury and sickness. One way to do this is by making assumptions that only one structure is injured (muscle, nerve or ligament) rather than many structures at once. Here are some of the assumptions used for my anatomy class.


-Only one structure is injured (muscle, nerve or ligament)

-Resisted ROM = no movement,

-Muscle only has symptoms when shortening

-Any joint movement will produce pain when ligament injury is present

-Testing using HOPS Method and, Passive/Active/Resisted Range of Motion

Range of Motion (ROM)

ROM: moving the injured area (flexion/extension/abduction/adduction/etc...)

Passive ROM: Another person or medical professional moves the injured area for the patient

Active ROM: The patient moves the injured area with their own strength. No resistance is applied against the patient.

Resisted ROM: The patient tries to move the injured area but a force (such as a medical professional pushing against the area) or an obstruction prevents actual movement..

Injury Type

Muscle Injury = weak and painful when muscle is moved

---(Pain/Weakness during some Passive/Active ROM, No symptoms during Resisted ROM)

Nerve Injury = weak when trying to move

---(Weak during some Active/Resisted ROM, No symptoms with Passive ROM)

Ligament Injury = pain with all movement of joint

---(Pain with all movement at joint during Passive/Active ROM, No symptoms Resisted ROM)

BONES of the Appendicular Skeleton (Extremities)

The Appendicular skeleton is made up of the limbs and their attachments to the main core of the body.

Bones of the Shoulder Girdle

-Clavicle: (runs between base of neck and shoulder) Connects sternum to scapula to add shoulder stability.

-Scapula: (located on the posterior side of shoulder, triangular shape, attaches to the humerus of the arm)

Bones of the Arm, Forearm and Hand

-Humerus:(Upper Arm, only bone from elbow to the shoulder)

-Radius:(Forearm: Elbow to Wrist, lateral side-thumb side)

-Ulna:(Forearm: Elbow to Wrist, medial side-pinky finger side)

-8 Carpals(palm of hand next to wrist)

-5 Metacarpals (palm of hand next to fingers, labeled 1st-5th starting at the thumb)

-14 Phalanges:(the sections of the fingers)

Bones of the Pelvic Girdle

-2 Hip Bones (Ilium, Ischium and Pubic sections, attaches anteriorly both hip bones at the pubic tubercles)

**Sacrum** (attaches posteriorly to both the hip bones)

Bones of the Thigh, Leg and Foot

-Femur: (upper leg or thigh, only bone from hip to knee)

-Fibula: (lower leg, lateral side - pinky toe side)

-Tibia: (lower leg, medial side - great toe side)

-7 Tarsals (back portion of the foot near the ankle)

-5 Metatarsals: (middle portion of the foot near the toes, labeled 1st-5th starting at big toe)

-14 Phalanges: (the sections of the toes)

** Means not actually part of the appendicular skeleton

Picture provided courtesy of LadyofHats Mariana Ruiz Villarreal

---Did someone say BONES--- - For free time and studying what could be better

BONE: Clavicle

Clavicle Bone
Clavicle Bone

There are 2 clavicle bones located just below where the neck meets the body. The clavicle bones attach to the sternum and scapula. These structures are very important for stabilizing and creating uniform movement in shoulders and torso.


-Acromial End (round shoe like end which attaches to the acromion of the scapula)

-Sternal End (flat end which attaches to the manubrium of the sternum)

-Subclavian Groove (where the subclavius muscle attaches to the bone)

-Conoid Tubercle (bump points towards the scapula)

Bony Attachments

-Manubrium of the Sternum (Saddle Joint)

-Acromion of the Scapula (Plane Joint)

Muscle Attachments



-Pectoralis Major



-Sternoclavicular (saddle joint, sternum to clavicle, difficult to dislocate,)

-Acromioclavicular (plane joint, acromion to clavicle, limited mobility)

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONE: Scapula

Right Scapula Bone
Right Scapula Bone


-Medial Border (middle edge of bone, MB in picture)

-Lateral Border (side edge of bone, LB in picture)

-Superior Border (top edge of bone, SB in picture)

-Inferior Angle (bottom angle or point)

-Superior Angle (top angle or point

-Glenoid Cavity (attachment site of the humerus)

-Supraglenoid tubercle (directly above the humerus attachment site)

-Infraglenoid tubercle (directly below the humerus attachment site)

-Acromion (protruding bone pointing anteriorly coming off the scapular spine)

-Coracoid process (protruding bone pointing laterally coming off the scapula near the glenoid cavity)

-Scapular Notch (located in the superior border, allows arteries and nerves to pass through)

-Subscapular Fossa (the entire flat surface on the anterior side of the scapula)

-Supraspinous Fossa (the flat surface on the posterior side above the scapular spine)

-Infraspinous Fossa (the flat surface on the posterior side below the scapular spine)

Bony Attachments

-Humerus (Glenohumeral joint)

-Clavicle (Acromioclavicular joint)

-Ribs (Thoracoscapular joint)

Muscle Attachments:



-Levator Scapulae

-Pectoralis Minor

-Serratus Anterior



-Teres Major

-Teres Minor


-Rhomboid Major

-Rhomboid Minor


-Acromioclavicular (scapula to clavicle, plane joint, limited mobility)

-Glenohumeral (humerus to scapula, ball joint, high mobility)

-Scapulothoracic (scapula to rib cage, not a true joint, loose connective tissue)

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONE Humerus


-Head: the round smooth end of the bone that attaches to the scapula

-Anatomical Neck: located just below the head of the humerus

-Surgical Neck: located just below the anatomical neck

-Greater Tuberosity: larger bump

-Lesser Tuberosity: smaller bump

-Intertubercular Groove: the indentation between the two tuberosities

-Deltoid Tuberosity: Where the deltoid muscle attaches, mid-shaft.

-Lateral Supracondylar Ridge: The line just above the lateral epicondyle

-Medial Supracondylar Ridge: The line just above the medial epicondyle

-Medial Epicondyle: Bump on the medial side of the humerus

-Lateral Epicondyle: Bump on the lateral side of the humerus

-Capitellum: articulation for radius bone (Head)

-Trochlea: attachment site for the ulna (Trochlear notch)

-Olecranon Fossa: Location where the Olecranon of the Ulna sits.

-Radial Fossa: Indentations where the Radius mets the Humerus.

-Coronoid Fossa: Indentation where the Coronoid process meets the Humerus.

Muscle attachments:




-Latissimus Dorsi



-Teres Major

-Teres Minor


-Glenohumeral (scapula to humerus, ball/socket joint, high mobility)

-Elbow (humerus to ulna, hinge joint, mobility in only one plane)

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONE: Radius


-Head (pedestal type structure which articulates with capitellum of humerus)

-Neck (just below the head of the bone)

-Radial Tuberosity (Where the ulna rubs against the radius when twisting the forearm)

-Anterior Border (the front side of the bone)

-Interosseous Border (border of bone between ulna and radius)

-Shaft (The middle section of the bone)

-Styloid Process (the bump that sticks out from the wrist end of the bone towards the thumb)

Muscle Attachments

-Biceps Brachii


-flexor digitorum

-pronator teres

-flexor pollicis

-Pronator quadratus


-Abductor pollicis longus

-Extensor pollicis brevis

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONE: Ulna

Unlike the leg there are two bone that attach the elbow to the wrist. This allows the forearm to twist when moving the arms.


-Olecranon (large rounded portion which faces posteriorly)

-Trochlear notch (The top notch formed by the large round olecranon)

-Coronoid Process ( The bottom notch formed by the olecranon, where the humerus articulates with the ulna)

-Radial Notch (Where the radius bone articulates at the elbow joint, allows pronation/supination of the forearm)

-Ulnar Tuberosity (Where the radius and ulna meet during supination/pronation)

-Shaft (The middle portion of the bone)

-Interosseous Border (The middle edge of the bone)

-Head (The wrist end of the bone)

-Styloid Process (the bump that is located towards the pinky finger at the wrist)

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONES: Hand and Wrist

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONES: Carpals (8)

The carpal bones are located in your wrist which connects your arm to your hand. While on the surface it might seem like these bones are fairly large. Only about 1/4 of your palm is made up of the carpal bones the other 3/4 is made up of metacarpals. Metacarpals look like phalynx portions but they are actually held together inside your palm. If you count the number of joints in each finger on your hand you will see that only 3 joints seem apparent in your pinky through index finger and two in your thumb.

Scaphoid (wrist joint between radius and hand, lateral side)

Lunate (medially located, smaller in size, closer to the wrist)

Triquetrum (most medial carpal bone, farther from wrist)

Pisiform (small pea shaped, sticks out anteriorly, medial side)

Trapezium (Carpal under the thumb)

Trapezoid (carpal under the pointer finger)

Capitate (carpal under the middle finger)

Hamate (carpal under the ring finger)

See the memorization tips section below for some pointers!!

BONES: Metacarpals and Phalanges

Distal Phalanges (5) (tip of finger)

Middle Phalanges (4) (middle of finger between two joints, missing in the thumb)

Proximal Phalanges (5) (first visible section of finger)

Metacarpals (5) (In the upper palm of hand below each finger)

BONE: Hip Bone - Three Divisions: Iliac, Ischium and Pubis

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONES of the Axial Skeleton (Body Core)

Bones of the Skull

  • Cranial: Frontal, Parietal, Temporal, Occipital, Ethmoid, Sphenoid.
  • Facial: Lacrimal, Vomer, Zygomatic, Maxilla, Mandible, Nasal

Bones of the Spine (vertebral column)

  • Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2) (Allows more movement of the skull and neck)
  • Cervical Spine (C1-C7)
  • Thoracic Spine (T1-T12)  (a pair of ribs attach to each T1-T12 vertebrae)
  • Lumbar Spine (L1-L5)
  • Sacrum (5 fused vertebrae)
  • Coccyx (3-4 fused vertebrae) 

Bones of the Rib Cage (attach at the thoracic spine)

  • Sternum (ribs attach at the front)
  • Thoracic Spine (ribs attach at the back)
  • Ribs (from sternum to spine, some false ribs don't attach to sternum)

BONE: Memorization Tips

Throughout my study of anatomy it was the most helpful to come up with songs, associations and other gimmicks to help remember each bit of information I learned.

Use the letters of something as acronyms to make a funny sentence

(ex. "some lovers try positions that they can't handle" can stand for the order or the bones in the wrist when moving in each row lateral to medial. )

Carpal Order

-Some lovers try position that they can't handle (each row Lateral to Medial)

-Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate

* Cannot see pisiform on dorsal view of hand *


-Trapezium is like a gymnasium under the flexible thumb

-Trapezoid is very trapped and tiny

-Don't de"Capitate" the middle finger

-Hamate is under the "mate" ring finger

-Pisiform has piss poor form to stick out in front

Conoid vs. Coronoid vs. Coracoid

-Conoid is on the shortest long bone (clavicle)

-Cor "ON" oid process is near the Olecran"ON" of the Ulna

-Cor "AC" oid process is near the "AC" romion of the Scapula

Directional Terminology

-Coronal = slice off the beer belly (corona beer)

-Ventral = ventrilaquist

-Superficial = shallow

-Horizontal = flat

Hip Bone Positioning

-Auricular Surface to your ear (aur=ear) attaches to sacrum

-Obturator Foramen to your mouth (phone operator)

-Sciatic Notch is where hand is placed

-At this position the bone is aligned correctly based on your body position.

Humerus vs. Femur

-Humerus leads to hands

-Femur leads to feet


-cervical: look like ants (foramen eyes)

-thoracic: look like giraffes (long spinous process)

-lumbar: look like moose (bulky)

The number of each Vertebrae

Coffee at 7 (C1-C7 vertebrae)

Tea at 12 noon (T1-T12 vertebrae)

Liquor at 5 (L1-L5 vertebrae) show

Image courtesy of Alandra Morin

BONE Songs - They can help you study your bone anatomy

Any Suggestions?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well don presented well for the laymen taking the next step.

    • Mussarat LM profile image

      Mussarat J Moghal 

      6 years ago from Ontario Canada

      Wow, Great information about human bones.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Alandra,

      What kinds of food or supplements are necessary for strengthening our bones?

      Cora from the hamstring exercises hub

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for this amazing blog!!!!

    • theholidayplace profile image


      7 years ago

      Amazing drawings and very good info, loved it

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is very informative which shows how passionate you are with your craft. Keep this going especially on education the people about in depth details of a human body. DePuy

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i want to ask & learn more about planes and axis

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much! I wish I'd found this blog sooner! ")

    • diala84 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Oregon

      @anonymous: I have some more information about cavities and directions in my Medical Terminology lens and also in my First Aid Training lens. Hope that helps.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      amazing, though may I suggest helping with the anatomical names of the body parts, cavities, directions etc? I could sure use some tricks for remembering the anatomical name for the inside of my elbow (ugh!)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This has got to be a passion for you to study this in depth and must be very inspiring! If you ever feel a need to ! raise your spirits, come on over!

    • Paki Bazar profile image

      Paki Bazar 

      7 years ago

      i love this blog you are working really good



    • Paki Bazar profile image

      Paki Bazar 

      7 years ago

      i love this blog you are working really good



    • Paki Bazar profile image

      Paki Bazar 

      7 years ago

      i love this blog you are working really good



    • Paki Bazar profile image

      Paki Bazar 

      7 years ago

      i love this blog you are working really good




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