Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 311
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.

The Interpubic Fibrocartilaginous Lamina (lamina fibrocartilaginea interpubica; interpubic disk).—The interpubic fibrocartilaginous lamina connects the opposed surfaces of the pubic bones. Each of these surfaces is covered by a thin layer of hyaline cartilage firmly joined to the bone by a series of nipple-like processes which accurately fit into corresponding depressions on the osseous surfaces. These opposed cartilaginous surfaces are connected together by an intermediate lamina of fibrocartilage which varies in thickness in different subjects. It often contains a cavity in its interior, probably formed by the softening and absorption of the fibrocartilage, since it rarely appears before the tenth year of life and is not lined by synovial membrane. This cavity is larger in the female than in the male, but it is very doubtful whether it enlarges, as was formerly supposed, during pregnancy. It is most frequently limited to the upper and back part of the joint; it occasionally reaches to the front, and may extend the entire length of the cartilage. It may be easily demonstrated when present by making a coronal section of the symphysis pubis near its posterior surface (Fig. 321).

FIG. 321– Symphysis pubis exposed by a coronal section. (See enlarged image)

Mechanism of the Pelvis.—The pelvic girdle supports and protects the contained viscera and affords surfaces for the attachments of the trunk and lower limb muscles. Its most important mechanical function, however, is to transmit the weight of the trunk and upper limbs to the lower extremities.
  It may be divided into two arches by a vertical plane passing through the acetabular cavities; the posterior of these arches is the one chiefly concerned in the function of transmitting the weight. Its essential parts are the upper three sacral vertebræ and two strong pillars of bone running from the sacroiliac articulations to the acetabular cavities. For the reception and diffusion of the weight each acetabular cavity is strengthened by two additional bars running toward the pubis and ischium. In order to lessen concussion in rapid changes of distribution of the weight, joints (sacroiliac articulations) are interposed between the sacrum and the iliac bones; an accessory joint (pubic symphysis) exists in the middle of the anterior arch. The sacrum forms the summit of the posterior arch; the weight transmitted falls on it at the lumbosacral articulation and, theoretically, has a component in each of two directions. One component of the force is expended in driving the sacrum downward and backward between the iliac bones, while the other thrusts the upper end of the sacrum downward and forward toward the pelvic cavity.


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