What Are the 20 Major Bones in the Body?

By Courtney Clark; Updated April 24, 2017
How Many Bones Are in a Body?

The human body is full of many tiny bones, but there are only 20 bones that play a major part in the structure of our skeleton.


The skull is a major bone that protects the brain and surrounds it like a helmet.

Shoulders, Torso, and Hips

From top to bottom, the major bones of the shoulders and torso are: clavicle (collar bone), scapula (shoulder blade), sternum (breast bone), and ribs. The hip bone connects the torso to the legs.

Arms and Hands

From top to bottom, the major bones of the arms and hands are: humerus, ulna, radius, carpal (wrist), metacarpal, and phalanges (fingers).

Legs and Feet

From top to bottom, starting at the hips, the major bones of the legs and feet are: femur, patella, tibia, fibula, tarsal (ankle), metatarsals, and phalanges (toes).


The sacrum is a collection of tiny fused bones at the bottom of your spine and in between your hip bones.

About the Author

Courtney Clark studied English, creative writing, film and history at Southern Virginia University from 2005 through 2008, earning a Bachelor of Arts. During her time at SVU, Clark participated in the English Honors Society and the university's film club.