The tarsal bones [ossa tarsi] are grouped in two rows: - a proximal row, consisting of the talus and calcaneus, and a distal row, consisting of four bones which, enumerated from tibial side, are the first, second, and third cuneiform bones and the cuboid. Interposed between the two rows on the tibial side of the foot is a single bone, the navicular; on the fibular side the proximal and distal rows come into contact.
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The phalanges of the foot are the bones of the toes, and number in all fourteen. Except the great toe, each consists of three phalanges, distinguished as first (proximal), second and third (distal) ; in the great toe the second phalanx is absent.
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The vertebrae, or separate pieces of which the column is made up, are so named from their mobility (vertere, to turn). They are divided into true and false ; the former term being applied to those which remain separate in the adult, and retain their mobility; the latter to such as become united into one mass (viz. the sacrum), or degenerate as it were, and lose all the ordinary characters of vertebrae (viz. the coccyx).
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The sternum, (os pectoris: xiphoides ; French : le sternum) is situated in the median line, at the fore part of the thorax: it is flat and narrow, but not of equal width in its entire extent, being broad at its upper part, then narrowed somewhat, after which it widens a little; finally it becomes compressed and narrow where it joins the ensiform cartilage. Its direction is oblique from above downwards and forwards; and the inclination forwards, together with the curve backward in the dorsal part of the vertebral column, causes a considerable increase in the anteroposterior diameter of the thorax. We have to consider successively its surfaces, extremities, and borders.
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The true vertebra are divided into three sets, named from the regions they occupy, cervical, dorsal, lumbar. They present, 1. certain general characters by which they may at once be distinguished from bones of any other class; 2. those of each region (cervical, dorsal, lumbar,) exhibit peculiar characters by which they are severally distinguished ; 3. certain vertebras present special or individual characters.
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The ribs extend from the dorsal portion of the vertebral column to the sternum, forming arches, which enclose the lateral parts of the thorax. They are usually twelve in number at each side, but cases occasionally occur in which the number is augmented by the addition of a cervical or a lumbar rib, to which reference has already been made in describing the vertebras of those regions. The number may also be diminished to eleven. I have lately seen an instance in which this diminution was accompanied with the absence of a dorsal vertebra. The seven superior pairs, which are united by means of cartilaginous prolongations to the sternum, are called sternal or true ribs; the remaining five, which are not prolonged to the sternum, being denominated asternal or false ribs.
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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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