On Form and Function

  • Herbert H. Srebnik


A great deal has been written on this subject, and you are probably familiar with the expression “Form follows Function”—meaning, structure is designed for the use to which it is put. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), quite possibly the most creative genius of his day, referring to the relationship between muscle size and function, concluded: “In all the parts where man has to work with greater effort nature has made the muscles and tendons of greater thickness and breadth” (Dell’ Anatomica Fogli A, Royal Library, Windsor). The musculoskeletal anatomy of the limbs is particularly well suited to illustrate and illuminate the anatomical basis of function, for both upper and lower extremities are structurally adapted for maximal effectiveness: the former to be used as a prehensile organ, and the latter to provide the means of support for upright posture and locomotion. Crucial to an understanding of their functional capacities is a knowledge of their bony infrastructure.


Biceps Brachii Shoulder Joint Sacroiliac Joint Axial Skeleton Pelvic Girdle 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert H. Srebnik
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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