Anatomy & Organs

Skeleton – structure, function & diseases


The human skeleton serves to stabilize the body, provides support and protects vital organs . With every movement, the body is exposed to heavy loads that it has to absorb. This is ensured by 220 bones that are connected to each other by joints . This is the human skeleton.

What is the skeleton

The human skeleton is made up of three areas: The head skeleton, which consists of the cranium and the facial skeleton. The torso skeleton with spine and thorax as well as the limb skeleton with pelvic girdle and shoulder girdle are further areas of the human skeleton.

The overall structure is supplemented by the arm skeleton with upper arm and lower arm bones as well as hand bones and leg skeleton, consisting of upper and lower leg bones and foot bones. These areas comprise a human’s skeleton. Biologically, humans are vertebrates and are supported by a bony support system . This support system is called the human skeleton.

Bones do not grow throughout life. This is due to special longitudinal growth zones that calcify at the end of puberty . The spine supports the head and the thorax, which protects the heart and lungs from injury. The thorax is protected by 12 pairs of ribs that are flexibly connected to the spine.

Anatomy & Structure

The human skeleton has a precise and complex structure. The approximately 220 bones that make up the skeleton are divided into flat, short and long bones. Short bones are the carpal and tarsal bones and vertebrae .

Long bones are also called tubular bones. This name derives from the empty space inside the bone where the bone marrow is located. Some bones are fused together, such as the skull. This consists of several bones. Babies have more delicate heads and more bones because their skulls have not yet grown together. This is usually the case towards the end of the second year of life.

The skeleton, called the skeleton, is the main support of the body. The adult skeleton consists of 22 skull bones, 26 vertebrae. Three bones make up the sternum and four bones make up the thoracic vertebra. There are 60 bones in the arms and hands alone , 58 bones in the legs and feet and two bones in the hips . 24 bones form the twelve pairs of ribs and one bone supports the neck. This is what the human skeleton consists of.

Function & Tasks

The human skeleton has important tasks, because it gives the body the necessary hold and supports it. It also protects vital organs that are protected from injury by the skeleton’s skeleton.

In addition, the skeleton provides attachments for muscles and tendons and thus supports human movement. They stabilize the internal organs and keep them in position, which is necessary for the functioning of the body. The bones of the skeleton are flexibly connected to one another by joints such as the ball and socket joint or the hinge joint. Some bones of the skeleton also have a so-called pivot or wheel joint or a saddle joint and a rotary joint.

These joints vary in size and shape depending on their location in the human body and their function in the human skeleton. The skeleton itself accounts for about 12 percent of total body weight. It takes several years for the human skeleton to fully develop. This is the case around around the age of 20. Then the skeleton is complete.

Diseases & Ailments

However, the human skeleton is not always immune to injury. If too much force or stress is applied to the bone, it can break. A distinction is made between closed and open fractures.

In an open fracture , the bone visibly protrudes through the skin . In addition to fractures, certain diseases can pose a threat to the human skeleton. Diseases such as rickets , osteoporosis , scoliosis or brittle bone disease are bone diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is the main cause of rickets.

The bones of the skeleton are not sufficiently strengthened. This can lead to deformed limbs, especially in children. Brittle bone disease is a congenital condition that easily breaks bones. It usually only occurs in children and usually quickly leads to death. Osteoporosis means bone loss and affects older people in particular. One cause is the lack of calcium . Scoliosis is the curvature of the spine .

It usually occurs before puberty or is congenital. The older the person concerned, the stronger the symptoms, since the internal organs are under a lot of strain. The human skeleton is fragile, but durable due to the skeleton.

Website | + posts

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.