Bones: the skeleton

How does a baby go through that? Said me in Anatomy lab today. We were looking at a real human pelvic girdle and if I wasn’t sure about having kids before, today definitely did not help. The pelvic girdle is so very small. How does a bowling ball fit through it? Further, what if you have twins? My teacher said, well, they line up, wait their turn and go single file. She said when she had her daughter she was in so much pain, she thought she was going to die. She was joking, kind of.  

A woman’s pelvis is wider for childbirth and weighs much less than a man’s. A man’s pelvic girdle weighs more than a woman’s due to more muscle mass. When you increase muscle mass, you also increase bone density, so when you are “losing weight”, you are really gaining weight from the muscle mass and bone density. Although your fat cells do shrink. They don’t go away ever, just shrink. If you gain weight while pregnant, technically you’ll never lose it, it’ll just get smaller.  

I also learned today, it’s better to break bones than tear ligaments because bones will repair and grow back. Shin splints are real things. I always thought it was a fake pain, but you should actually warm up before exercising, so more blood flows to the area, preventing injury. Who knew?  

When I would talk about measuring backpacks for hikers, we would always say start at the lliac crest and measure up to your C2 bone, the prominent bone markers… But I have been wrong. When you touch your hip, it’s not the lliac crest but your ASIS, anterior superior iliac spine, the pointy protrusion on your hip.

I’ve also been wrong, when thinking about the ankle bone, it’s not your ankle but the bottom of your fibula, a spot called the malleolus (little hammer). The two bones in your leg (lower limb), are the “tough” tibia and “feeble” fibula. The tibia is thick and supports the weight of your body while the fibula is a small thin bone next to it.  

Your feet should have arches! I have flat feet and I learned arches support your weight only when your feet are arched. It’s true that you should buy insoles if you have flat feet, not just a sales pitch.  

Fun fact: if you want to remember the 8 names and positions of the carpals bones (in your hand, they are stacked in 4’s, 2 rows), remember the mnemonic, Sally left the party to take Carmen home. (Scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate.)

I have to learn all the names and all the bones of the skeleton for our upcoming exam. Although very fascinating, this is hard stuff. I have a little over a week to learn everything. The anatomy tutor said she spent 2 hours every day before the exam memorizing it. How does anyone do anything else but study when they are in school?   I hope you enjoy learning Anatomy with me.  

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