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The Skull and Vertebral Column

The skull is a bony structure that supports the face and forms a protective cavity for the brain. It is comprised of many bones, formed by intramembranous ossification, which are joined together by sutures (fibrous joints). These joints fuse together in adulthood, thus permitting brain growth during adolescence.

The bones of the skull can be divided into two groups: those of the cranium (which can be subdivided the skullcap known as the calvarium, and the cranial base) and those of the face.

The vertebral column, also known as the spinal column, is the central axis of the skeleton in all vertebrates. The vertebral column provides attachments to muscles, supports the trunk, protects the spinal cord and nerve roots and serves as a site for hemopoiesis. The mammalian vertebral column consists of five morphologically differentiated groups of vertebrae: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal (caudal). In humans, the vertebral column usually consists of 33 vertebrae, placed in series and connected by ligaments and intervertebral discs. However, the number of vertebrae can vary between 32 and 35. Usually there are 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 4 caudal (coccygeal) vertebrae. In humans, the length of the vertebral column is 71 cm in males and 61 cm in females. The vertebral column (spine or backbone) is a curved structure composed of bony vertebrae that are interconnected by cartilaginous intervertebral discs. It is part of the axial skeleton and extends from the base of the skull to the tip of the coccyx. The spinal cord runs through its center. The vertebral column is divided into five regions and consists of 33 vertebrae interlaced by strong joints and ligaments. Although the spine can be a pain in the back, its function is very important. Thanks to the spine, you can twist, bend and sway your trunk in almost any direction. Your vertebral column also protects your fragile spinal cord and helps support the weight of the upper body. Therefore, it’s important to take good care of it and maintain a good posture at all times.

At the end of the course, you should be able to

  1. Describe the bones of the skull
  2. Describe the bones of the vertebral column

Course Curriculum

SECTION 1: THE SKULL

1
General Features and Functions of the Skull
Self-Paced
2
Cranial Bones
Self-Paced
3
Orbits
Self-Paced
4
Fontanelles
Self-Paced
5
The Hyoid Bone
Self-Paced
6
Quiz
10 questions

SECTION 2: THE VERTEBRAL COLUMN

1
General Characteristics of the Spine
Self-Paced
2
Parts of a Vertebra
Self-Paced
3
The Thorax
Self-Paced
4
Thoracic Cage: Ribs
Self-Paced
5
The Shoulder
Self-Paced
6
The Upper Limb
Self-Paced
7
Ulna and Radius (The Forearm)
Self-Paced
8
The Hip
Self-Paced
9
Pubis
Self-Paced
10
Pelvic Structure and Childbearing
Self-Paced
11
The Lower Limb
Self-Paced
12
Tarsals, Metatarsals, and Phalanges (The Foot)
Self-Paced
13
Longitudinal Arches
Self-Paced
14
Quiz
10 questions

SECTION 3: CLASSIFICATION OF JOINTS

1
Structural Classification of Joints
Self-Paced
2
Functional Classification of Joints
Self-Paced
3
Fibrous Joints
Self-Paced
4
Characteristics of Fibrous Joints
Self-Paced
5
Gomphoses
Self-Paced
6
Cartilaginous Joints
Self-Paced
7
Synovial Joints
Self-Paced
8
Nerve and Blood Supply
Self-Paced
9
Synovial Joint Movements
Self-Paced
10
Wrapping Up
Self-Paced
11
Quiz
11 questions

Certification

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SECTION 1: THE SKULL

1
General Features and Functions of the Skull
Self-Paced
2
Cranial Bones
Self-Paced
3
Orbits
Self-Paced
4
Fontanelles
Self-Paced
5
The Hyoid Bone
Self-Paced
6
Quiz
10 questions

SECTION 2: THE VERTEBRAL COLUMN

1
General Characteristics of the Spine
Self-Paced
2
Parts of a Vertebra
Self-Paced
3
The Thorax
Self-Paced
4
Thoracic Cage: Ribs
Self-Paced
5
The Shoulder
Self-Paced
6
The Upper Limb
Self-Paced
7
Ulna and Radius (The Forearm)
Self-Paced
8
The Hip
Self-Paced
9
Pubis
Self-Paced
10
Pelvic Structure and Childbearing
Self-Paced
11
The Lower Limb
Self-Paced
12
Tarsals, Metatarsals, and Phalanges (The Foot)
Self-Paced
13
Longitudinal Arches
Self-Paced
14
Quiz
10 questions

SECTION 3: CLASSIFICATION OF JOINTS

1
Structural Classification of Joints
Self-Paced
2
Functional Classification of Joints
Self-Paced
3
Fibrous Joints
Self-Paced
4
Characteristics of Fibrous Joints
Self-Paced
5
Gomphoses
Self-Paced
6
Cartilaginous Joints
Self-Paced
7
Synovial Joints
Self-Paced
8
Nerve and Blood Supply
Self-Paced
9
Synovial Joint Movements
Self-Paced
10
Wrapping Up
Self-Paced
11
Quiz
11 questions

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