General Question

kelly8906's avatar

How to tell right or left bones of appendicular skeleton?

Asked by kelly8906 (340 points ) May 10th, 2010

I have a bones test tomorrow in Anatomy, and I am having a hard time trying to figure out the difference between the right and left bones. For instance, if the right radius is faced anteriorly, it looks like the left radius when it is faced posteriorly. I am so confused! Does anyone know how to tell the difference? Thanks

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5 Answers

NanciDru's avatar

Ever hear of anatomical position? If you visualize the bones in that position, you can’t go wrong. The Radial bone is also on your thumb side.

dpworkin's avatar

Yep, that’s the way I do it. If I have to, I actually pose myself in the anatomical position and superimpose my own image mentally on a diagram. [Edit: examine the radial heads – they have lateral asymmetries.]

Disc2021's avatar

Will you be given actual bone models? If so, try “trying them on” – hold them up to your body and try to visualize a fit that makes sense. Or, try looking/feeling your bones (sounds kind of silly but works). Always helped me wonders on lab practicals.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

The bones are mirror images of each other. If viewed the radius is viewed in the anatomical position, its styloid process will be on the lateral side. From that, you can deduce which radius it is. You should also learn how the bones look in the anatomical position. For example if you are looking at the humerus, the bicipetal groove is anterior, and the head of humerus is angled medially.

ubersiren's avatar

Imagine where all the surrounding bones fit into the bony landmarks. If you know where the bones are in anatomical position, you should be able to tell them apart. You won’t mix them up because there are different bony landmarks that you should have been taught that will put them in the right place for you. For example, if you’re looking at the right radius from the anterior, you will see that the ulnar notch will be on the medial edge where it would touch the unla, and there is a styloid process at the distal end at the wrist. It’ll all come together once you can picture where they fit against the neighboring bones.

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