Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 4 On the Structural Relationships of Bones

Symphysis

Su/mfusij is the natural union of bones, a form of attachment by which epiphyses are joined to their bones: in younger persons (1, 2, 4, 5 of the figure in ch. 40, Bk. 2), when the bones are still soft and spongy, by the intervention of cartilage [cartilago fibrosa]. In those that are older, when the bones have hardened, the epiphyses are so integrated with the bones without intervening substance that you can hardly make out the line of juncture. By this union also the bones joined to the sides of the sacrum come together in the pubis [symphysis pubica] (j in the first skeleton). In quite young children, the bone [os coxae] on each side is seen to be made out of three bones [os ilii, os ischii, os pubis]; these are distinguished by three lines [epiphyses] that meet in the acetabulum of the hip bone. It can also be seen in lambs, where cartilage [hyaline] is in these lines, as in children. In slightly older persons, those three pieces have so fused that no kind of line presents itself. These bones will be described in the appropriate chapter. Similar observations will be made in the chapter on the vertebrae, which in children are also composed of several parts; likewise the occipital bone and many others of the body, which are named as a single bone because the appearance of a joint [synchondrosis] is completely hidden in older persons. The author of the Introductory Book or The Physician, which is ascribed to Galen, does not, in introducing the study of the bones, call the union we have just described a symphysis; he applies the term instead to sutures that more or less resemble harmoniae. He calls the unions of the bones of the upper maxilla symphysis (although not rightly). 49



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 4 On the Structural Relationships of Bones