A summary paper on; Musculoskeletal Changes Associated with Aging, and Assessment of the Skeletal System,
The musculoskeletal system consists of muscle, bones, bone marrow, joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and bursae. The adult human skeleton contains two hundred and six bones and more than six hundred muscles.Joints are located where two or more bones meet and contain cartilage and bursa. Functions of the musculoskeletal system include movement, posture, joint stability, and heat production. It provides a framework for the body, protect the soft body parts such as the brain, store calcium, and produce blood cells.The organs and structures of the musculoskeletal system work together to protect, support, and move the body.
Cartilage is found on joint surfaces, larynx, respiratory passages. Aging dehydrates cartilage to become stiffer and thins in weight bearing areas. Cartilage has no direct blood supply. Blood flow in adjacent bones and synovial fluid provide nutrients to the chondroblasts. Osmotic force created by glycoprotein secretions from chondroblasts attracts water, gas, salts, and organic material for metabolism. Concentration of glycoproteins in the matrix determines the amount of fluid drawn into the cartilage. Normal aging has a reduction in chondroitin sulfate which decreases cartilage fluid.
Nutrients enter the matrix of cartilage only when compressive forces are absent. In loaded or compressed state nutrients or fluid are squeezed out, Movement of substance in and out of cartilage occur with alternating compressive and unloading forces, Metabolites remain in cartilage in the absence of compression, with inactivity hyaline cartilage is converted to fibrocartilage, Prescience of metabolites reduces the oxygen content which decreases glycoprotein and increases procollagen.