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The Skeletal System

PACS Training - Medical Basics 101

Medical Terminology of the Skeletal System

It is crucial for a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) administrator to possess a fundamental understanding of medical terminology concerning the skeletal system. Such knowledge allows admins to effectively navigate and interpret radiographic images and reports. Facilitating accurate data management and efficient workflow within the healthcare environment

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Familiarity with basic bone anatomy, including the names, locations, and characteristics of major skeletal structures, enables the PACS administrator to accurately label and organize images, ensuring seamless retrieval and interpretation by healthcare professionals.

Moreover, understanding medical terminology related to bones enhances communication and collaboration between the PACS administrator, radiologists, and other medical personnel involved in diagnosing and treating skeletal disorders.

By comprehending the intricacies of bone terminology, the PACS administrator can contribute to streamlining the workflow, optimizing patient care, and ultimately improving the overall efficiency of the radiology department.

Head and Neck

Bones of the head

Skull = Cranium

Forehead = Frontal bone

Back of the head = Occipital bone

Bone around eyes = Orbital bone/ocular bone

Nose = Nasal bridge/ bone

Cheekbone = Zygomatic bone

T/M joint = Temporomandibular joint

Jaw = Mandible

Bone above the upper teeth = Maxilla

Lateral part of the Skull above the cheekbone = Temporal bone

Bone above the temporal bone = Parietal bone

Bones of neck

Cervical vertebrae or Cervical spine (C1-C7)

Bones of the thorax

Anterior Region

Collar bone = Clavicle

Ribs = 12 costal bones (12th rib is the shortest)

Chest bone = Sternum

Head of the sternum = Manubrium

Posterior Region

The upper back = Thoracic vertebrae or Thoracic spine (T1-T12)

Shoulder blade = Scapula

The lower Back = Lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5)

Bones of upper extremities

Arm = Humerus

Forearm = Radius laterally and Ulna medially

Wrist = Carpal bones (8 bones)

At the palmar region = Metacarpal bones (5 bones)

Fingers = Phalanges

Bones of the Hip girdle or Pelvic girdle

The pelvic girdle is formed by two left and right single hip bones that unite anteriorly at the pubic

symphysis. Posteriorly they are attached to the sacrum and coccyx of the axial skeleton. It is

also called pelvis.

The left or right hip bone is the fusion of 3 bones (the ilium laterally + ischium at the base of

Pelvis + pubic bone anteriorly)

Top lining of hip bone= iliac crest

Pointed tip of hip bone in front = anterior superior liac spine

Hip joint = Acetabulofemoral joint.

It is the ball and socket joint where the socket is the acetabulum

of hip bone; and the ball is the head of the femur.

Bones of the lower extremities

Thigh = Femur

Knee = Patella

Leg = There are 2 long bones; the shin bone (Tibia) medially and calf bone (Fibula) laterally

Ankle = formed by 3 bones: Distal ends of Tibia and Fibula as the upper part. The third one

Is the Talus as the lower part.

The bulging distal end fibula is called the lateral malleolus of the ankle, and the bulging distal

end of the tibia is called the medial malleolus of the ankle.

Heel = Calcaneus

Bones of the foot

Hindfoot (area around the heel) = formed by 2 Tarsal bones (the talus is sitting on the


Midfoot = 5 Tarsal bones

Forefoot = 5 Metatarsal bones

5 toes = 5 Phalanges


In conclusion, it is crucial for a PACS administrator to have a fundamental awareness of medical terms relating to bones. This information makes it possible to correctly identify, arrange, and analyze radiographic pictures, improving workflow and promoting effective data management. Knowledge of bone terminology also improves collaboration and communication with medical specialists. In the end, this knowledge helps the radiology department operate more effectively and provide better patient care.

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