The appendicular skeleton consist of-

  • Pectoral girdle and upper limbs
  • Pelvic girdle and lower limbs


Human body have 2 pectoral girdle. The main function of pectoral girdle is to join the bones of upper limbs to the axial skeleton. Each of this girdle consist of two bones


It is a S- shaped bone which is also known as collar bone. It is lies anterior to thorax and superior to first rib. The bone is S-shaped because half of its part is convex anteriorly and the other half is concave anteriorly. At the medial end(sternal end) articulates with the manubrium of the sternum and forms sternoclavicular joint. At the lateral end(acromial end) articulates with the acromion of the scapula and forms acromioclavicular joint.


It is a large, triangular, flat bone which is also known as shoulder bone. It is situated in the superior part of the posterior thorax. The prominent ridges known as spine runs on the posterior surface of scapula. The lateral end of the spine has a flattened expanded process known as acromion. Inferior to the acromion is a depression which is shallow known as glenoid cavity. The superior edge of the scapula is  called the superior border. At the lateral end of superior border is a coracoid process to which tendons of muscles and ligaments attaches. On the posterior surface of the scapula are two fossa: the supraspinous fossa, superior to the spine and infra-spinous fossa, inferior to the spine.


The upper limb consist of 30 bones, 1 humerus, 1 ulna, 1 radius, 8 carpals, 5 metacarpals and 14 phalanges.


It is a longest and largest bone of the upper limb. At the proximal end, the head of humerus joins with the glenoid cavity of scapula to form glenohumeral joint. At the distal end, the humerus joins with two bones-radius and ulna to form elbow joint. Inferior to the head of humerus are the two rough projections of bone, known as greater and lesser tubercles. Between the two tubercles is a groove known as intertubercular sulcus.

The capitulum is a rounded knob which articulates with the head of radius. the trochlea is a spool shaped surface which articulates with the head of ulna. the coronoid fossa receives the coronoid process when the forearm is flexed; and the olecranon fossa receives the olecranon process when the forearm is extended.

Radius and Ulna

these are the two bones of forearm. the ulna is present on the medial end and is longer than the radius. The olecranon forms the prominence of the elbow. The olecranon and the coronoid process articulates with the trochlea of humerus. inferior to the trochlear notch present between olecranon and coronoid process is a radial notch. This radial notch articulates with the head of the radius. The ulnar tuberosity is inferior to the coronoid process to which biceps brachii and muscles attach. The radial tuberosity is inferior to the neck of radius is where the tendons of biceps muscles attach.


there are eight carpal arranged in two rows:

  • proximal row- scaphoid, lunate, triquetrium, pisiform
  •  distal row:- trapezium, trapezoid, capitate and hamate

Bones of proximal rows are involved in wrist joints while bones of distal row form joints with metacarpals.


these are 5 bones which forms the palm of hand. the proximal end articulates with the carpals and distal end articulates with the phalenges


these are 14 bones, 3 in each finger and 2 in thumbs. They articulates with the metacarpals and to each other through hinge joint.


The pelvic girdle is formed from two hip bones. The hip bones unite anteriorly at a joint known as pubic symphysis and posteriorly they unite with the sacrum and forms sacroiliac joint. The complete ring composed of hip bones, pubic symphysis and sacrum forms a basin like structure known as bony pelvis.

The hip bone is formed from the fusion of 3 different bones:- ilium, ischium and pubis.


it is present in the superior region of hip bone. It is composed of superior ala and inferior body. The superior border of ilium is the iliac crest. anteriorly the iliac crest has a blunt end and posteriorly the iliac crest has sharp end. The ilium forms synovial joint with sacrum known as sacroiliac joint.


It is the inferior posterior portion of hip bone. inferiorly, the ischium has rough projections known as ischial tuberosity, bear the weight of body when seated


It is the inferior anterior portion of hip bone. It articulates with the pubis of another hip bone at the cartilaginous joint.


The lower limb consist of bones that are: femur, tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals and phalenges.


It is the largest and longest bone of the body. At the proximal end, It articulates with the acetabulum of hip bone and forms hip joint. The neck extends outwards and downwards from head of femur to the shaft. The greater and lesser trochanter are  the projections from the junction of neck and shaft and serves as a point of attachment for some thigh ad buttock muscles. Between the two trochanters is a intertrochanteric line on the anterior surface; and the intertrochanteric crest in the posterior surface.

Just below the intertrochanteric crest is a vertical ridge called the gluteal tuberosity. The distal end of femur has lateral and medial condyle. superior to these condyle are the medial and lateral epicondyles. The patellar surface is located between the condyles on the anterior surface.


It is a triangular shaped sesamoid bone. This bone is associated with knee joint. The posterior surface of this bone articulates with the patellar surface of femur; and its anterior surface is involved in patellar tendons.


tibia is also known as shin bone, is a large medial bone which bears the weight of leg. The tibia articulates at the proximal end with femur and fibula; and at the distal end it articulates with the fibula and talus bone of ankle. The tibial tuberosity is present on the anterior surface is a point of attachment for patellar ligament. The fibular notch of tibia articulates at the distal end with fibula and forms distal tibiofibular joints.


This bone is parallel and lateral to the tibia and is smaller than tibia. Fibula does not articulates with the femur.  It is involved in ankle joint. At the proximal end, the head of fibula articulates with the inferior surface of lateral condyle of tibia. The distal end has a projection known as lateral malleolus that articulates with the talus bone of ankle.


There are 7 tarsal bones that forms the posterior surface of foot. These are: talus, calcaneus, navicular, cuboid and three cuneiform bones. The talus joins with the fibula and tibia to form ankle joint. The calcaneus forms the heel of the foot.


These are 5 bones, which forms most of the part of sole of foot. AT the proximal end, they articulates with the tarsals and at the distal end they articulate with the phalanges.


these are 14 bones as present In the fingers. there arrangement is also similar to that In fingers, 3 in each toe and 2 in the greater tor known as hallux.

Multiple choice questions(MCQs)

1. Which is the longest and heaviest bone of the body?
A. humerus B. radius
C. femur D. ulna

2. Patella is an example of which kind of bone?
A. long bone B. short bone
C. irregular bones D. sesamoid bone

3. At the medial end, the clavicle articulates with?
A. scapula B. manubrium
C. humerus D. radius

4. Which of the following statement is true?
a. glenoid cavity of scapula articulates with the humerus
B. there are 15 phalanges in upper limb
c. the olecranon of ulna forms prominences of ankle
D. capitate bone is present in the proximal row of carpals

5. Where are the supraspinous fossa and infra-spinous fossa of scapula lies?
A. posterior surface of scapula
B. inferior surface of scapula
C. anterior surface of scapula
D. superior surface of scapula

6. The upper limb consists of how many bones?
A. 26 B. 31
C. 14 D. none of the above

7. Which part of humerus articulates with the head of radius?
A. capitulum B. greater tubercle
C. lesser tubercle D. coronoid fossa

8. Match the following-
a. bony pelvis                1. Superior part of hip bone
b. ilium                           2. Consist of sternum, hip bone and pubic symphysis
c. ischium                      3. Inferior anterior surface of hip bone
d. pubis                          4. Inferior posterior surface of hip bone

9. Which joint lies between the radius and ulna?
A. distal radio-ulnar joint B. interosseous membrane
C. proximal radioulnar joint D. all of the above

10. Which ankle bone articulates with fibula to form ankle joint?
A. cuneiform B. talus
C. cuboid D. navicular


1. femur
2. sesamoid bone
3. manubrium
4. glenoid cavity of scapula articulates with the humerus
5. posterior surface of scapula
6. none of the above
7. capitulum
8. a – 2 b – 1 c – 4 d – 3
9. all of the above
10. talus

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1. Ross and Wilson-Anatomy and physiology in health and illness; 12th edition; page no.-: 406-411.
2. Gerard J. Tortora -Principles of anatomy and physiology; edition twelfth ; page no.-: 236-256.


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