Author: Molly smith DipCNM, mBANT•Reviewer: Dimitrios Mytilinaios MD, PhDLast reviewed: September 08, 2021Reading time: 8 minutes


Bone markings space projections and depressions found on bones, which aid us to determine the place of other body structures, such together muscles.Their importance comes once we try to describe the form of the bone or come understand how the muscles, ligaments and other structures influence this bone and also vice versa.

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This write-up will discuss their anatomy, including the two large categories the bony landmarks, your subtypes, features and also examples.

Bone markings
components of a bone Head (epiphysis) Neck (metaphysis) human body (diaphysis) Articular surface ar
Projections and also parts Condyle Epiconcyle procedure Protuberance Tubercle vs tuberosity Trochanter Spine Linea (line) facet Crests and also ridges
Openings and also depressions Foramen and fissure Meatus Fossa and also fovea Incisure and sulcus Sinus

Projections and also parts Depressions and also openings
+ display all

Parts of a bone

Understanding the simple composition and structure that a bone is important, together it gives a reference suggest when explicate the ar of bony landmarks.

Long bones are composed of four distinct parts: a head (epiphysis), a neck (metaphysis), a human body (diaphysis), and also an articular surface.

The head, or epiphysis (epi- meaning "upon") that a bone describes the rounded section found at either end of the bone. The neck, or metaphysis (meta- definition "after", or "subsequent to") is the widest part of a long bone. The body, or diaphysis (dia- meaning "through" or "throughout") refers to the main shaft running between the proximal and distal end of the bone.The articular surface (can be more than one) is the area the the bone the comes in nearby proximity through the adjoining bones. 

Memorizing the prefix that each component of the bone will assist you to stop confusing them. Just remember that the diaphysis expand throughout the central length of the bone, with the metaphysis adhering to after, causing the epiphysis upon either end.

have actually you currently learned the number of bones in the body and their names? usage these skeletal mechanism diagrams and quizzes to discover fast and effectively.

Projections and also parts

locations of bone the project over the bone surface deserve to be around the world referred to together projections. They are attachment points for tendons and also ligaments, with their shape and also size being indicative of the force exerted through the attachment to the bone. Below, we discover the different species of bony projections within this category.



Condyles space rounded knobs that form articulations with various other bones. Lock often administer structural support to the articular surface, helping to absorb the pressure exerted at the joint. The lateral condyle the the femur is one example, i m sorry is quickly palpable in ~ the knee.


Epicondyle is a bony area ~ above or above a condyle. The serves largely as one area for a muscle or ligament attachment. Example: medial epicondyle of humerus.


A procedure is a bulging bony outgrowth of a larger bone. An instance is the mastoid process, i beg your pardon is quickly palpable native behind the ear, and to which plenty of head muscles are attached.


Protuberances, similar to processes, space swelling, bulging or protruding components of bone. The external occipital protuberance is one example. Jutting out from the midline the the external surface, the is palpable indigenous the back of the head.

Tubercle vs tuberosity


Tubercles and also tuberosities space subtly various structures which are regularly confused.

A tubercle is a small rounded prominence, frequently a website of tendon or ligament attachments e.g. adductor tubercle the the femur. A tuberosity is larger, uncovered in differing shapes and often unstable in texture.

The ulnar tuberosity is one example. Both tubercles and also tuberosities room often discovered close come sites of tendon or ligament attachment.


This landmark is current only in the femur and it refers to a an extremely large, blunt, irregularly shame process of the femur that serves together an attachment allude for muscles and also ligaments. ~ above the femur there is a greater trochanter and also a less prominent lesser trochanter.


The spine (or spinous process) is a sharp, slender forecast of the bone i m sorry is useful for attachments of muscles or ligaments. Example: spine the the sphenoid bone.

Linea (line)

The ax linea refers to a subtle, long, and narrow impression i m sorry distinguishes chin in elevation, color or structure from bordering tissues. The linea aspera the the femur is one example. Found on the posterior surface, it is composed of medial and lateral lips diverging in ~ its superior and also inferior ends.


The side is a flat smooth area of the bone which serves together an articular surface. Example: acromial side of clavicle.

Crests and ridges

Crests have the right to be defined as prominent, increased edges the a bone. They space of medium thickness and also often uncovered at sites wherein connective organization connects muscle and also bone. The iliac crest is one example. Discovered inferior to the quadratus lumborum, because that which that serves as the beginning point, the is palpable follow me its whole length, and is thicker at the extremities than the center.

Ridges are direct elevations, margins or borders. The lateral supracondylar ridge of the humerus is one example, whereby we notice a slight projection contrasted to the surrounding bone.

Depressions and openings

external of projections, numerous bone markings autumn into the classification of depressions and also openings. Bony landmarks in this category kind basins, channels and also holes that residence nerves, vessels, tendons and muscles. Below, we discover some examples.


Foramen and fissure

Foramina (sing: foramen) room holes or openings in a bone, usually with which nerves and also blood ship pass. The jugular foramen is one instance through which the inferior petrosal sinus, sigmoid sinus, glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerves pass.

Fissures are open slits, grooves or depressions in a bone, frequently housing nerves and blood vessels. An example is the inferior orbit fissure. Separating the floor native the lateral wall, it provides passage to structures like the zygomatic nerve and also orbital branches that the pterygopalatine ganglion.


A meatus is a short, tube-like channel expanding into the bone. That can carry out passage and also protection to nerves and also vessels. An example is the external acoustic meatus, likewise known together the ear canal, i m sorry connects the middle and outer ear.


Fossa and fovea

A fossa is a depression in the bone surface ar which is often broad and shallow. It may support brain structures, or receive one more articulating bone. The temporal fossa is one example. It is one of the largest landmarks on the skull, serving as an origin site because that the temporal muscle.

Fovea describes a pit or depression - comparable to a fossa, however generally lot smaller. An instance is the fovea capitis, uncovered in the facility of the head of the femur.

Notch and also sulcus

Notches (or incisures) can be identified as indentations in ~ the sheet of a structure, like a cleft. The scapular notch, which develops a deep, distinctive depression along the superolateral border that the scapula, is one example.

A sulcus is a furrow or fissure usually certain to the surface of the brain, but likewise in bones and also other organs. As soon as referring to bones, sulci are very often described as grooves. Grooves often trace the length of nerves or vessels, providing an are to prevent compression from neighboring muscles or outside forces. An example is the groove for the transverse sinus.


A sinus is a cavity or hole space. The paranasal sinuses, a team of 4 paired, bilateral sinuses in the nasal cavity, are a notable example.

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