The section devoted to the Articulations or Joints deals with the union of the various and dissimilar parts of the human skeleton. The followiing structures enter into the formation of joints. Bones constitute the basis of most joints. The long bones articulate by their ends, the flat by their edges, and the short at various parts on their surfaces. The articular ends are usually expanded, and are composed of cancellous tissue, surrounded by a dense and strong shell of compact tissue.
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The Atlas is articulated with the occiput and the axis (Epistropheus).
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Before describing the movements of the thorax as a whole, it must be premised that there are some few modifications in the movements of certain ribs resulting from their shape. Thus, the firs rib (and to a less extent the second also), which is flat on its upper and lower surfaces, revolves on a transverse axis drawn through the costo-vertebral and costo-transverse joints. During inspiration and expiration, the anterior extremities of the first pair of costal arches play up and down, the tubercles and the heads of the ribs acting in a hinge-like manner, the latter having also a slight screwing motion. By this movement, the anterior ends of the costal arches are simply raised or depressed, and the sternum pushed a little forward; it may be likened to the movement of a pump-handle.
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These articulations at the front of the thorax may be divided into four sets, viz.: The intersternal joints, or the union of the several parts of the sternum with one another. The costo -chondral joints, or the union of the ribs with their costal cartilages. The chondro-sternal joints, or the junction of the costal cartilages with the sternum. The interchondral joints, or the union of five costal cartilages (sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth) with one another.
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