The Revision Guide for Student Nurses (Part I)

The Skeletal System - Glossary

Abduction = The movement of the limb away from the body; as in cocking a leg.

Adduction = The movement of a limb towards or beneath the body.

Anatomy = The science of the structure of the body.

Aponeurosis = A sheet of tendon-like tissue which connects some muscles to the parts which they move.

Appendicular skeleton = Comprises the bones of the forelimb, hindlimb and pelvis.

Arthrosis = A joint.

Articulation = The place of union or junction between two or more bones.

Atlas = The 1st cervical vertebra, articulating with the occipital bone of the skull.

Axial skeleton = Comprises the bones of the skull, vertebral column, tail, ribs and sternum.

Axis = The 2nd cervical vertebra.

Brachiocephalic = Describes a short, broad head.

Bursa = A small sac of fibrous tissue, lined with synovial membrane and containing synovial fluid. It is situated between the moving parts of a joint in order to reduce friction.

Calcaneus = The point of the hock.

Cancellous bone = Porous or spongy; found in the ends of long bones and the core of short, flat and irregular bones.

Carnassials = The large 3-rooted teeth that are the upper 4th premolar and lower 1st molar in dogs, and the upper 3rd premolar and lower 1st molar in cats.

Cartilage = A specialised, fibrous connective tissue present in adults, and forming most of the temporary skeleton in the embryo.

Caudal = Towards the tail.

Chondrocyte = A cartilage producing cell.

Clavicle = The collar bone.

Compact bone = The hard white substance found in the outer layer of all bones.

Condyle = A rounded eminence occurring at the end of some bones, and articulating with another bone.

Connective tissue = Tissues that develop from the mesenchyme and are formed of a matrix containing fibres and cells. Connective tissue is binding, supportive and acts as a transport system.

Cranial = Towards the head.

Deciduous teeth = Temporary or "baby teeth".

Dentine = The substance between the enamel and cement which forms the main bulk of a tooth.

Digits = The toes.

Distal = Away from the body.

Doliocephalic = Describes a long, narrow head.

Dorsal = Towards the back.

Enamel = The hard substance which coats the crown of the tooth.

Epicondyle = A protuberance on a long bone above its condyle usually acting as a site for soft tissue attachment.

Extrinsic = Originating externally. Extrinsic muscles originate away from the parts that they control.

Floating rib = The 13th rib.

Foramen = A channel through bone allowing the passage of blood and nerves; also known as a foramina.

Foramen magnum = The hole in the occipital bone through which the spinal cord passes.

Foramina = See foramen.

Fossa = A hole or depression within a bone.

Ground substance = The intracellular material found among the cells of connective tissue.

Haversian systems = Series of canals permeating bone enabling the transport of blood and lymph.

Intrinsic = Particular to, or contained within an organ.

Lacunae = Small cavities or depressions.

Lamellae = Thin layers, membranes or plates.

Lateral = Towards the side of the body.

Ligament = A band of fibrous tissue connecting bones forming a joint.

Linea alba ="The white line"; the area where the aponeuroses of the abdominal muscles join at the ventral midline.

Malocclusion = An abnormality of dental development which causes an overlapping of the bite.

Medial = Towards the midline.

Meniscus = A semi-lunar cartilage present in the stifle joint.

Mesocephalic = Describes a normal shaped head.

Obturator foramen = The large hole in the hip bone.

Orbit = The bony cavity containing the eyeball.

Ossification = The development of bone; also known as osteogenesis.

Osteoblast = An immature bone cell.

Osteoclast = A large cell which breaks down and absorbs bone and callus.

Osteocyte = A bone cell.

Osteophyte = A small out-growth of bone.

Palmar = Describes the underside of the forelimb below the carpal joint.

Pellicle = The acellular membrane covering the enamel surface of the tooth.

Periosteum = The tough, fibrous covering of bone.

Physiology = The science of the functioning of living organisms.

Plantar = Describes the underside of the hindlimb below the tarsal joint.

Proximal = Towards the body.

Rostral = Towards the nose.

Rhinarium = The nose pad.

Sesamoid bone = A small bone that develops within a tendon to ease the passage over a joint.

Skeletal muscle = Muscle under voluntary control; thus also known as voluntary muscle.

Tendon = A band of fibrous tissue forming the termination of a muscle and attaching it to a bone.

Trabeculae = Dividing bands which hold functioning bone cells in position.

Trochanter = A bony prominence.

Trochlea = A groove for a pulley, usually a tendon

Tubercle = A small nodule or rounded prominence on a bone.

Tuberosity = An elevation or protuberance on a bone.

Ventral = Towards the abdomen.

Visceral = Pertaining to organs contained within the body cavities.