Know your Bones: Musculoskeletal System

Know your Bones: Musculoskeletal System

by Oby Egbunike, CPC, COC, CPC-I, CCS-P

Bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage make up the musculoskeletal system. Bones provide the following functions:

Orthopaedic Surgery COSC

  • Bones form the skeleton, which is the framework for the entire body
  • Bones produce red blood cells and stores calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium
  • Bones protect vital organs.

The skeleton is divided into two parts:

  • Axila Skeleton: Bones of the skull, chest and the spine
  • Appendicular Skeleton: Remaining bones of the upper and lower limbs, shoulders and pelvis.

Types of Bones

There are different types of bone, with each bone performing a specific function.


  • Long Bones: These are the bones with large surface areas that unite to form a joint with another bone. These bones can be found in the femur, tibia, fibula in the legs, humerus, and radius and ulna in the arms.
  • Short Bones: These are bones that are as wide as they are long. Their main function is to provide support and stability, with little to no movement. Theses bones can be found in the wrists and ankles.
  • Flat Bones: These are the bones that cover the soft body parts. These are the shoulder blades, pelvic bones, and ribs.
  • Sesamoid Bones: These bones are shaped like sesame seeds, and are found near a joint; for example, the patella or knee cap.
  • Irregular Bones: These are the bones not fitting into any of the category of long, short, flat, or sesamoid. Several of these bones are found in the face (e.g., the zygoma).

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