Musculoskeletal System

The musculoskeletal system consists of bones of the skeleton, the joints and the skeletal muscles. It provides form, support, stability, and movement to the body.

The musculoskeletal system’s functions include supporting the body, allowing motion, and protecting vital organs. The skeletal also acts as the main storage system for calcium and phosphorus. Further, it contains important components of the hematopoietic system.

Bones are connected to other bones and muscle by tendons and ligaments. Bones provide stability to the body. Muscles hold the bones in place and also help in their movement. Different bones are connected by joints for producing motion. Cartilage prevents bones from rubbing directly onto each other. Muscles contract to move the bone attached at the joint.

Many diseases and disorders adversely affect the functioning of the musculoskeletal system. Some of these diseases may be difficult to diagnose due to the close relation of the musculoskeletal system with other organ systems.

Topics in this section

The Skeleton

  • Bone
    • Types of bones
    • Bone structure
      • General structure of a long bone
      • Structure of short, irregular, flat and sesamoid bones
    • Microscopic structure of bone
      • Compact (cortical) bone
      • Cancellous (trabecular, spongy) bone
      • Bone cells
    • Development of bone tissue (osteogenesis or ossification)
    • Functions of bone
  • Axial skeleton
    • Skull
      • Cranium
      • Face
      • Sinuses
      • Fontanells of the skull
    • Vertebral column
      • Characteristics of a typical vertebra
      • Special features of vertebra in different parts of the vertebral column
      • Features of the vertebral column
      • Functions of the vertebral column
    • Thoracic cage
  • Appendicular skeleton
    • Shoulder girdle and upper limb
    • Pelvic girdle and lower limb
  • Healing of bones
    • Factors that delay healing of fractures
    • Complications of fractures
  • Diseases of bones
    • Osteoporosis
    • Paget’s disease
    • Rickets and osteomalacia
    • Infection of bones
    • Osteomyelitis
    • Developmental abnormalities of bone
    • Tumors of bone
      • Benign tumors
      • Malignant tumors

The joints

  • Types of joint
    • Fibrous or fixed joints
    • Cartilaginous or slightly movable joints
    • Synovial or freely movable joints
      • Characteristics of a synovial joint
  • Main synovial joints of the limbs
    • Shoulder joint
      • Muscles and movements
    • Elbow joint
      • Muscles and movements
    • Proximal and distal radioulnar joints
      • Muscles and movements
    • Wrist joints
      • Muscles and movements
    • Joints of the hands and fingers
    • Hip joint
      • Muscles and movements
    • Knee joint
      • Muscles and movements
    • Ankle joint
      • Muscles and movements
    • Joints of the foot and toes
  • Disorders of joints
    • Inflammatory diseases of joints (arthritis)
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA, rheumatoid disease)
      • Other types of polyarthritis
      • Infective arthritis
    • Traumatic injury to joints
      • Sprains, strains and dislocations
      • Penetrating injuries
    • Osteoarthritis (osteoarthrosos, OA)
      • Primary osteoarthritis
      • Secondary osteoarthritis
    • Gout
    • Connective tissue diseases
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome

The muscular system

  • Muscles of the face and neck
    • Muscles of the face
    • Muscles of the neck
  • Muscles of the back
  • Muscles of the abdominal wall
    • Functions
    • Iguinal canal
  • Muscles of the pelvic floor
    • Functions
  • Healing of muscle
  • Repair of nerves supplying muscles
  • Diseases of muscles
    • Myasthenia gravis
    • Myopathies
      • Muscular dystrophies
        • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
        • Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy
        • Myotonic dystrophy
    • Crush syndrome