The pelvis is composed of four bones: the two coxal or hip-bones, the sacrum, and the coccyx. The hip-bones form the lateral and anterior boundaries, meeting each other in front to form the pubic symphysis [symphysis ossium pubis]; posteriorly they are separated by the sacrum. The interior of the pelvis is divided into the major and minor pelvic cavity.
A typical cervical vertebra (from the third to the sixth inclusive) presents the following characteristics : - The body is smaller than in other regions of the column and is of oval shape with the long axis transverse. The lateral margins of the upper surface are raised into prominent lips, so that the surface is concave from side to side; it is also sloped downward in front. The inferior surface, on the contrary, projects downward in front and is rounded off at the sides to receive the corresponding lips of the adjacent vertebra. It is concave antero-posteriorly and convex in an opposite direction.
The coxal (innominate) bone or hip-bone (os coxae, French: os iliaque or os coxal) is a large, irregularly shaped bone articulated behind 'with the sacrum, and in front with its fellow of the opposite side, the two bones forming the anterior and side walls of the pelvis. The coxal bone consists of three parts, named ilium, ischium, and pubis, which, though separate in early life, are firmly united in the adult. The three parts meet together and form the acetabulum (or cotyloid fossa), a large, cup-like socket situated near the middle of the lateral surface of the bone for articulation with the head of the femur.
This is the u-shaped bone, so named from some resemblance to the Greek letter v. It is occasionally called the lingual bone, from its important relations with the tongue; it is situated at the base of the tongue, and may be felt between the chin and the thyroid cartilage. It consists of a body, two cornua, and two cornicula.
Each palate bone, (os palati,) wedged in between the superior maxillary and sphenoid bones, is common to the cavity of the mouth, nares, and orbit. In its form, this bone somewhat resembles that of the letter l, one part being horizontal, the other vertical.
There are two bones named malar, (os malse, malare, jugale, zygomaticum.) Each is common to the face and orbit, forming the most prominent point of the side of the former, and the greater part of the outer border of the latter. Its form is quadrangular.
These bones of the coccyx (French: coccyx), when united together, which is usually the case in advanced life, are supposed to resemble a cuckoo's bill and are therefore called coccygeal. Most commonly there are four of them, sometimes but three; in a few instances five have been found. They diminish gradually in size from above downwards, which gives them, when taken together, a pyramidal form. As they are placed in a continuous line with the inferior third of the sacrum, they form a slightly concave surface anteriorly, a convex one posteriorly.
The sacrum, much the largest piece of the vertebral column, is placed, when the body is in the erect position, at the superior and posterior part of the pelvis, beneath the last lumbar vertebra, above the coccyx, and between the ossa innominata, between which it is inserted, in some measure like a keystone into an arch.
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