Bony Landmarks

The Skull

• Occipital protuberance – A projection on the external surface of the mid-line occipital bone.


  • Acromion process – Located on the lateral part of the shoulder, right above the shoulder joint.
  • Coracoid process – Palpate under the lateral part of the clavicle (about 2 cm below the anterior edge of the clavicle).
  • Spine – From the acromio-clavicular joint (AC) joint palpate across the upper part of the posterior surface of the scapula. It is a long thin projection, which runs medial to lateral, at T3 level.
  • Medial (vertebral) border – The edge of the scapula closest to the vertebral column (about 5cm from the spinous processes). The medial border runs in a superior-inferior
  • Lateral (axillary) border – The lateral (or outer) edge of the scapula located between the inferior angle and the shoulder joint.
  • Superior medial angle – Located above the vertebral border or medial aspect of scapula, level T2.
  • Inferior angle – Located between vertebral and axillary borders. The “point” at the
    bottom of scapula, level T7.


“Collar bone” – anterior from sternum to acromion.

Spinous processes and Iliac crests

  • Spinous processes – palpate along the spinous processes. C7 and T1 are the most prominent during forward flexion.
  • Anterior iliac crests – Located at the upper margins of the pelvis at L4.
Human vertebral column spinal structure chart realistic medical education anatomy textbook infographic poster blue background vector illustration


  • Greater tuberosity – Located just below acromion when arm is resting by the side.
    (proximal end of humerus)
  • Lesser tuberosity – Easiest to palpate with arm in shoulder external rotation. Located
    medial to greater tuberosity on proximal end of humerus.
  • Intertubercular (Bicipital) Grove – Located between greater and lesser tuberosity; easiest to palpate with arm in external rotation.
  • Medial and lateral epicondyles – Palpated on medial and lateral sides,
    respectively, of distal end of humerus (2 “bumps” on distal end).
  • Olecranon fossa – indentation on posterior of elbow.


  • Head – From lateral epicondyle of humerus move distally about 2 cm. Head of radius palpated easiest as you pronate and supinate.
  • Styloid process – In the anatomic position, styloid is located laterally, just above wrist joint.
The structure of the radial bone with the name and description of all sites. Back and front view. Human anatomy.


  • Olecranon – “Funny bone” – long protuberance on posterior of elbow.
  • Styloid process – In the anatomic position, styloid process is on medial aspect of wrist, also slightly posterior. It is more proximal than radial styloid process.
  • Head – On the distal end of ulna. In supination, it can be palpated on medial-anterior aspect of wrist (just proximal to wrist). In pronation, head is the projection on posterior aspect (ulnar side) of wrist

Femur and Patella

  • Greater trochanter – lateral aspect of thigh just distal to hip joint.
  • Medial and lateral epicondyles – on distal end of femur
  • “Knee cap” – anterior aspect of knee.

Tibia and Fibula

  • Tibial tuberosity – on proximal end, anterior aspect just below patella.
  • Tibial spine – “Shin bone” – anterior ridge along tibia.
  • Lateral malleolus – a large protuberance located at the ankle (laterally).
  • Medial malleolus – a large protuberance located at the ankle (medially).


  • Calcaneus – heel bone.
  • Navicular tubercle – On medial border of foot, large bony prominence.
  • Head of the talus – Just proximal to navicular tubercle. Palpable with the foot in eversion.