2023-2024 / LOCO0130-6

Multidisciplinary approach to the musculoskeletal system


42h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in medicine4 crédits 


Philippe Kolh, Bernard Lambermont, Didier Maquet, Pascale Quatresooz, Marc Radermecker, Thierry Thirion


Thierry Thirion

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This module will approach the anatomy, the histology as well as the embryonic development of the members and the rachis, as well as the biochemistry and the muscular, osseous, cartilaginous physiology of tissues, capsulaire and tendinous. The integrated study of the structures and the functions will be favored ; representing this way, by the mastering of the normal structural and functional elements of the musculoskeletal system, the introduction essential to the elements of pathology which will be approached farther on the program in rheumatology, physical medicine, traumatology and surgery of the musculoskeletal system. References to the neurological notions developed in the module "nervous system" will be made, the control of this module is obviously essential to understand number of aspects of the musculoskeletal system.

Macroscopic and microscopic anatomy of the musculoskeletal system. Fonctional anatomy. The musculoskeletal system's normal semiology. Specific biochemical and physiological aspects of the musculoskeletal system. Integration of the knowledge.

The course in Biochemistry and Physiology of the Musculoskeletal System has the following sections:

  • Bone formation and resorption
  • Regulation of phospho-calcium metabolism
  • Hormonal influences
  • Physiopathology aspects

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Such as in particular (in a not exhaustive way):

  • Understand and know the osseous metabolism in particular the osseous staff turnover which allows the maintenance of the mechanical characteristics necessary for the function of the skeleton as well as the mechanisms allowing the repair of a fracture.
  • Understand and know the histological structure of the various types of bones and understand their relation with the role of the diverse bones.
  • Understand and know the embryonic development of the axial skeleton.
  • Understand and know the normal alignment of the rachis in the various plans of the space and the factors which influence it.
  • Understand and know the potential mobility of the spinal elements according to the specific anatomy of the various segments.
  • Understand and know the function of the various muscular groups of the trunk.
  • Understand and know the embryonic development of the appendicular skeleton.
  • Understand and know the mechanisms of the osseous growth.
  • Understand and know the osseous and articular anatomical structures of the upper limb.
  • Understand and know the osseous and articular anatomical structures of the lower limb.
  • Understand the fundamental differences of function between the lower and upper limbs, in particular by the compared anatomy.
  • Understand and know the distribution and the function of the various muscles of the members.
  • Integrate into the osseous, articular and muscular anatomy of the trunk and the members, the distribution of the peripheral vascular and nervous elements, among others by the practical class of anatomy.
  • Understand what are the anatomical and functional characteristics which must be protected at the level of a joint to keep its normal passive and active functions: stability and mobility.
  • Understand and know the role and the distribution of the scrawny muscular innervation and the sensory territories.
  • Understand and know the role and the distribution of the vascularization of the diverse osseous, articular and muscular structures.
  • Understand and know the biochemistry and the physiology of the scrawny striated muscles and their relation with a normal function of the various segments of the body in the case of an effort in force, a fine movement, a limited or steady effort in time, by understanding the notion of endurance in the effort.
  • Know the aspects of normal semiology of the musculoskeletal system: normal alignment of the various segments of the body, the passive and active articular mobility of the joints, the muscular actions and the notion of normal or altered strength, peripheral neurological examination.
Basic science keys to the future comprehension of locomotor system's traumatic and non traumatic pathological situations.
A list of general and specific objectives is available on the e-campus on line course.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Co and pre-requisites are detailed in the general Baccalaureate Medical formation (global course program).
For the class of biochemistry and physiology, the course of biochemistry and physiology of the endocrine system is a prerequisite or a co-required.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

This Module is multidisciplinar (based on different theoretical courses in different disciplines).

Practical works (MEDE0002 and MEDE0003) and Problem-based seminars (APPR0001) complete the practical and clinical aspects.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Hybrid course (theoretical aspects in classical classrooms ; some practical aspects are developped within e-learning and small groups sessions).

Recommended or required readings

Slides and comments are available on e-campus on line course ; books can be obtained at the Ulg Press Shop  (complementary, not compulsory).

Recommended book:  Travaux pratiques d'anatomie, edited by Vigot (volumes I, III and IV)'s schemes.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Additional information:

Written exam in january and september

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Prof Th. Thirion

Secrétariat accessible du lundi au vendredi de 8h00 à 11h00 :
CHU Sart-Tilman, BC+2 Route 388 - Porte 85
Tel : +32 4 3237222
E-mail : chirortho@uliege.be


Prof Philippe KOLH

Normal and pathological human biochemistry and physiology


04/ 3665196

04/3668445 (secrétariat)

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