The Skeleton As The Framework For Movement

Bones are the body's framework and system of levers. They are the elements that move. The way adjacent bones articulate determines the motion and range of movement at a joint. Ligaments hold the bones together across the joint. Movements are described based on the anatomic planes through which the skeleton moves and the physical structure of the joint. Most joints move in only one plane, but some permit movement in multiple anatomic reference planes (Fig. 5.1).

Hinge joints, such as the elbow, are uniaxial, permitting movements in the sagittal plane. The wrist is an example of a biaxial joint. The shoulder is a multiaxial joint; movement can occur in oblique planes as well as the three major planes of that joint. Flexion and extension describe movements in the sagittal plane. Flexion movements decrease the angle between the moving body segments. Extension describes movement in the opposite direction. Abduction moves the

Anatomic Position

Anatomic reference planes. The figure is shown in the standard anatomic position with the associated primary reference planes.

body part away from the midline, while adduction moves the body part toward midline.

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