Module 22: The Axial Skeleton

Lesson 6: The Skull: Miscellaneous

Hộp Sọ: Hỗn Hợp

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Mỗi bài học (lesson) bao gồm 4 phần chính: Thuật ngữ, Luyện Đọc, Luyện Nghe, và Bàn Luận.
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Dưới đây là danh sách những thuật ngữ Y khoa của module The Axial Skeleton.
Khái quát được số lượng thuật ngữ sẽ xuất hiện trong bài đọc và nghe sẽ giúp bạn thoải mái tiêu thụ nội dung hơn. Sau khi hoàn thành nội dung đọc và nghe, bạn hãy quay lại đây và luyện tập (practice) để quen dần các thuật ngữ này. Đừng ép bản thân phải nhớ các thuật ngữ này vội vì bạn sẽ gặp và ôn lại danh sách này trong những bài học (lesson) khác của cùng một module.

Medical Terminology: The Axial Skeleton

articular cartilage
thin layer of cartilage covering an epiphysis; reduces friction and acts as a shock absorber
where two bone surfaces meet
hard, dense connective tissue that forms the structural elements of the skeleton
(singular = canaliculus) channels within the bone matrix that house one of an osteocyte’s many cytoplasmic extensions that it uses to communicate and receive nutrients
semi-rigid connective tissue found on the skeleton in areas where flexibility and smooth surfaces support movement
central canal
longitudinal channel in the center of each osteon; contains blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatic vessels; also known as the Haversian canal
closed reduction
manual manipulation of a broken bone to set it into its natural position without surgery
compact bone
dense osseous tissue that can withstand compressive forces
tubular shaft that runs between the proximal and distal ends of a long bone
layer of spongy bone, that is sandwiched between two the layers of compact bone found in flat bones
endochondral ossification
process in which bone forms by replacing hyaline cartilage
delicate membranous lining of a bone’s medullary cavity
epiphyseal line
completely ossified remnant of the epiphyseal plate
epiphyseal plate
(also, growth plate) sheet of hyaline cartilage in the metaphysis of an immature bone; replaced by bone tissue as the organ grows in length
wide section at each end of a long bone; filled with spongy bone and red marrow
external callus
collar of hyaline cartilage and bone that forms around the outside of a fracture
flat bone
thin and curved bone; serves as a point of attachment for muscles and protects internal organs
broken bone
fracture hematoma
blood clot that forms at the site of a broken bone
production of blood cells, which occurs in the red marrow of the bones
opening or depression in a bone
condition characterized by abnormally high levels of calcium
condition characterized by abnormally low levels of calcium
internal callus
fibrocartilaginous matrix, in the endosteal region, between the two ends of a broken bone
intramembranous ossification
process by which bone forms directly from mesenchymal tissue
irregular bone
bone of complex shape; protects internal organs from compressive forces
(singular = lacuna) spaces in a bone that house an osteocyte
long bone
cylinder-shaped bone that is longer than it is wide; functions as a lever
medullary cavity
hollow region of the diaphysis; filled with yellow marrow
process, during bone growth, by which bone is resorbed on one surface of a bone and deposited on another
nutrient foramen
small opening in the middle of the external surface of the diaphysis, through which an artery enters the bone to provide nourishment
open reduction
surgical exposure of a bone to reset a fracture
doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders and injuries
osseous tissue
bone tissue; a hard, dense connective tissue that forms the structural elements of the skeleton
(also, osteogenesis) bone formation
ossification center
cluster of osteoblasts found in the early stages of intramembranous ossification
cell responsible for forming new bone
cell responsible for resorbing bone
primary cell in mature bone; responsible for maintaining the matrix
osteogenic cell
undifferentiated cell with high mitotic activity; the only bone cells that divide; they differentiate and develop into osteoblasts
uncalcified bone matrix secreted by osteoblasts
(also, Haversian system) basic structural unit of compact bone; made of concentric layers of calcified matrix
disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass; occurs when the rate of bone resorption exceeds the rate of bone formation, a common occurrence as the body ages
perforating canal
(also, Volkmann’s canal) channel that branches off from the central canal and houses vessels and nerves that extend to the periosteum and endosteum
membrane that covers cartilage
fibrous membrane covering the outer surface of bone and continuous with ligaments
primary ossification center
region, deep in the periosteal collar, where bone development starts during endochondral ossification
bone markings where part of the surface sticks out above the rest of the surface, where tendons and ligaments attach
proliferative zone
region of the epiphyseal plate that makes new chondrocytes to replace those that die at the diaphyseal end of the plate and contributes to longitudinal growth of the epiphyseal plate
red marrow
connective tissue in the interior cavity of a bone where hematopoiesis takes place
process by which osteoclasts resorb old or damaged bone at the same time as and on the same surface where osteoblasts form new bone to replace that which is resorbed
reserve zone
region of the epiphyseal plate that anchors the plate to the osseous tissue of the epiphysis
secondary ossification center
region of bone development in the epiphyses
sesamoid bone
small, round bone embedded in a tendon; protects the tendon from compressive forces
short bone
cube-shaped bone that is approximately equal in length, width, and thickness; provides limited motion
skeletal system
organ system composed of bones and cartilage that provides for movement, support, and protection
spongy bone
(also, cancellous bone) trabeculated osseous tissue that supports shifts in weight distribution
(singular = trabecula) spikes or sections of the lattice-like matrix in spongy bone
yellow marrow
connective tissue in the interior cavity of a bone where fat is stored
zone of calcified matrix
region of the epiphyseal plate closest to the diaphyseal end; functions to connect the epiphyseal plate to the diaphysis
zone of maturation and hypertrophy
region of the epiphyseal plate where chondrocytes from the proliferative zone grow and mature and contribute to the longitudinal growth of the epiphyseal plate
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The orbit is the bony socket that houses the eyeball and contains the muscles that move the eyeball or open the upper eyelid. Each orbit is cone-shaped, with a narrow posterior region that widens toward the large anterior opening. To help protect the eye, the bony margins of the anterior opening are thickened and somewhat constricted. The medial walls of the two orbits are parallel to each other but each lateral wall diverges away from the midline at a 45° angle. This divergence provides greater lateral peripheral vision.

The walls of each orbit include contributions from seven skull bones (Figure 1). The frontal bone forms the roof and the zygomatic bone forms the lateral wall and lateral floor. The medial floor is primarily formed by the maxilla, with a small contribution from the palatine bone. The ethmoid bone and lacrimal bone make up much of the medial wall and the sphenoid bone forms the posterior orbit.

At the posterior apex of the orbit is the opening of the optic canal, which allows for passage of the optic nerve from the retina to the brain. Lateral to this is the elongated and irregularly shaped superior orbital fissure, which provides passage for the artery that supplies the eyeball, sensory nerves, and the nerves that supply the muscles involved in eye movements.
The hyoid bone is an independent bone that does not contact any other bone and thus is not part of the skull (Figure 6). It is a small U-shaped bone located in the upper neck near the level of the inferior mandible, with the tips of the “U” pointing posteriorly. The hyoid serves as the base for the tongue above, and is attached to the larynx below and the pharynx posteriorly. The hyoid is held in position by a series of small muscles that attach to it either from above or below. These muscles act to move the hyoid up/down or forward/back. Movements of the hyoid are coordinated with movements of the tongue, larynx, and pharynx during swallowing and speaking.
The nasal septum consists of both bone and cartilage components (Figure 2; see also Figure 3). The upper portion of the septum is formed by the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone. The lower and posterior parts of the septum are formed by the triangular-shaped vomer bone. In an anterior view of the skull, the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone is easily seen inside the nasal opening as the upper nasal septum, but only a small portion of the vomer is seen as the inferior septum. A better view of the vomer bone is seen when looking into the posterior nasal cavity with an inferior view of the skull, where the vomer forms the full height of the nasal septum. The anterior nasal septum is formed by the septal cartilage, a flexible plate that fills in the gap between the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid and vomer bones. This cartilage also extends outward into the nose where it separates the right and left nostrils. The septal cartilage is not found in the dry skull.

Attached to the lateral wall on each side of the nasal cavity are the superior, middle, and inferior nasal conchae (singular = concha), which are named for their positions (see Figure 4). These are bony plates that curve downward as they project into the space of the nasal cavity. They serve to swirl the incoming air, which helps to warm and moisturize it before the air moves into the delicate air sacs of the lungs. This also allows mucus, secreted by the tissue lining the nasal cavity, to trap incoming dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. The largest of the conchae is the inferior nasal concha, which is an independent bone of the skull. The middle concha and the superior conchae, which is the smallest, are both formed by the ethmoid bone. When looking into the anterior nasal opening of the skull, only the inferior and middle conchae can be seen. The small superior nasal concha is well hidden above and behind the middle concha.
The paranasal sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces located within certain bones of the skull (Figure 5). All of the sinuses communicate with the nasal cavity (paranasal = “next to nasal cavity”) and are lined with nasal mucosa. They serve to reduce bone mass and thus lighten the skull, and they also add resonance to the voice. This second feature is most obvious when you have a cold or sinus congestion. These produce swelling of the mucosa and excess mucus production, which can obstruct the narrow passageways between the sinuses and the nasal cavity, causing your voice to sound different to yourself and others. This blockage can also allow the sinuses to fill with fluid, with the resulting pressure producing pain and discomfort.

The paranasal sinuses are named for the skull bone that each occupies. The frontal sinus is located just above the eyebrows, within the frontal bone (see Figure 2). This irregular space may be divided at the midline into bilateral spaces, or these may be fused into a single sinus space. The frontal sinus is the most anterior of the paranasal sinuses. The largest sinus is the maxillary sinus. These are paired and located within the right and left maxillary bones, where they occupy the area just below the orbits. The maxillary sinuses are most commonly involved during sinus infections. Because their connection to the nasal cavity is located high on their medial wall, they are difficult to drain. The sphenoid sinus is a single, midline sinus. It is located within the body of the sphenoid bone, just anterior and inferior to the sella turcica, thus making it the most posterior of the paranasal sinuses. The lateral aspects of the ethmoid bone contain multiple small spaces separated by very thin bony walls. Each of these spaces is called an ethmoid air cell. These are located on both sides of the ethmoid bone, between the upper nasal cavity and medial orbit, just behind the superior nasal conchae.

OpenStax. (2022). Anatomy and Physiology 2e. Rice University. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-06-7 (Hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-05-0 (Paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-42-8 (Digital). License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Access for free at

Seven skull bones contribute to the walls of the orbit. Opening into the posterior orbit from the cranial cavity are the optic canal and superior orbital fissure.

The nasal septum is formed by the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone and the vomer bone. The septal cartilage fills the gap between these bones and extends into the nose.

This midline view of the sagittally sectioned skull shows the nasal septum.

The three nasal conchae are curved bones that project from the lateral walls of the nasal cavity. The superior nasal concha and middle nasal concha are parts of the ethmoid bone. The inferior nasal concha is an independent bone of the skull.

The paranasal sinuses are hollow, air-filled spaces named for the skull bone that each occupies. The most anterior is the frontal sinus, located in the frontal bone above the eyebrows. The largest are the maxillary sinuses, located in the right and left maxillary bones below the orbits. The most posterior is the sphenoid sinus, located in the body of the sphenoid bone, under the sella turcica. The ethmoid air cells are multiple small spaces located in the right and left sides of the ethmoid bone, between the medial wall of the orbit and lateral wall of the upper nasal cavity.

The hyoid bone is located in the upper neck and does not join with any other bone. It provides attachments for muscles that act on the tongue, larynx, and pharynx.

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  1. The skull consists of the brain case and the facial bones.
  2. The brain case surrounds and protects the brain, which occupies the cranial cavity inside the skull.
  3. It consists of the rounded calvaria and a complex base.
  4. The brain case is formed by eight bones, the paired parietal and temporal bones plus the unpaired frontal, occipital, sphenoid, and ethmoid bones.
  5. The narrow gap between the bones is filled with dense, fibrous connective tissue that unites the bones.
  6. The sagittal suture joins the right and left parietal bones.
  7. The coronal suture joins the parietal bones to the frontal bone, the lambdoid suture joins them to the occipital bone, and the squamous suture joins them to the temporal bone.
  8. The facial bones support the facial structures and form the upper and lower jaws.
  9. These consist of 14 bones, with the paired maxillary, palatine, zygomatic, nasal, lacrimal, and inferior conchae bones and the unpaired vomer and mandible bones.
  10. The ethmoid bone also contributes to the formation of facial structures.
  11. The maxilla forms the upper jaw and the mandible forms the lower jaw.
  12. The maxilla also forms the larger anterior portion of the hard palate, which is completed by the smaller palatine bones that form the posterior portion of the hard palate.
  13. The floor of the cranial cavity increases in depth from front to back and is divided into three cranial fossae.
  14. The anterior cranial fossa is located between the frontal bone and lesser wing of the sphenoid bone.
  15. A small area of the ethmoid bone, consisting of the crista galli and cribriform plates, is located at the midline of this fossa.
  16. The middle cranial fossa extends from the lesser wing of the sphenoid bone to the petrous ridge (petrous portion of temporal bone).
  17. The right and left sides are separated at the midline by the sella turcica, which surrounds the shallow hypophyseal fossa.
  18. Openings through the skull in the floor of the middle fossa include the optic canal and superior orbital fissure, which open into the posterior orbit, the foramen rotundum, foramen ovale, and foramen spinosum, and the exit of the carotid canal with its underlying foramen lacerum.
  19. The deep posterior cranial fossa extends from the petrous ridge to the occipital bone.
  20. Openings here include the large foramen magnum, plus the internal acoustic meatus, jugular foramina, and hypoglossal canals.
  21. Additional openings located on the external base of the skull include the stylomastoid foramen and the entrance to the carotid canal.
  22. The anterior skull has the orbits that house the eyeballs and associated muscles.
  23. The walls of the orbit are formed by contributions from seven bones: the frontal, zygomatic, maxillary, palatine, ethmoid, lacrimal, and sphenoid.
  24. Located at the superior margin of the orbit is the supraorbital foramen, and below the orbit is the infraorbital foramen.
  25. The mandible has two openings, the mandibular foramen on its inner surface and the mental foramen on its external surface near the chin.
  26. The nasal conchae are bony projections from the lateral walls of the nasal cavity.
  27. The large inferior nasal concha is an independent bone, while the middle and superior conchae are parts of the ethmoid bone.
  28. The nasal septum is formed by the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone, the vomer bone, and the septal cartilage.
  29. The paranasal sinuses are air-filled spaces located within the frontal, maxillary, sphenoid, and ethmoid bones.
  30. On the lateral skull, the zygomatic arch consists of two parts, the temporal process of the zygomatic bone anteriorly and the zygomatic process of the temporal bone posteriorly.
  31. The temporal fossa is the shallow space located on the lateral skull above the level of the zygomatic arch.
  32. The infratemporal fossa is located below the zygomatic arch and deep to the ramus of the mandible.
  33. The hyoid bone is located in the upper neck and does not join with any other bone.
  34. It is held in position by muscles and serves to support the tongue above, the larynx below, and the pharynx posteriorly.
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