Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Bone Fracture Pathologic Anatomy

To better understand pathologic bone fracture, it helps to understand the anatomy of the bony skeleton.

The bony skeleton is a living structure that supports the entire body. Bone made up of an outer shell of cortical, or very dense, bone that surrounds a honeycomb-like structure of softer (cancellous) bone. Bone mainly consists of protein and calcium. Without calcium, bone will become weak.

The human skeleton can be divided into two sections:

  • Axial skeleton: a total of 80 bones including the skull, spine, and chest
  • Appendicular skeleton: a total of 126 bones including the pelvic girdle, limbs, feet and hands

Anatomy examples:
  • Internal structure of bone
  • The pelvic girdle
  • The chest
  • The skull
  • The spine
  • Skeletal system
  • Hands and wrists
  • Feet

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bone Fracture Pathologic References
  1. Fayad LM, Kamel IR, Kawamoto S, Bluemke DA, Frassica FJ, Fishman EK. Distinguishing stress fractures from pathologic fractures: a multimodality approach. Skeletal Radiol. 2005 May;34(5):245-59. Epub 2005 Mar 15. [15838703]
  2. Jacofsky DJ, Haidukewych GJ. Management of pathologic fractures of the proximal femur: state of the art. J Orthop Trauma. 2004 Aug;18(7):459-69. [15289695]
  3. Verlaan L, van der Wal B, de Maat GJ, Walenkamp G, Nollen-Lopez L, van Ooij A. Primary hyperparathyroidism and pathological fractures: a review. Acta Orthop Belg. 2007 Jun;73(3):300-5. [17715718]
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