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Home > Anatomy & Physiology > Types of Joint

Types of Joint

 

A joint is the point where two or more bones meet. There are three main types of joints; Fibrous (immoveable), Cartilaginous (partially moveable) and the Synovial (freely moveable) joint.

Fibrous joints

Fibrous (synarthrodial): This type of joint is held together by only a ligament. Examples are where the teeth are held to their bony sockets and at both the radioulnar and tibiofibular joints.

Cartilaginous

Cartilaginous (synchondroses and sympheses): These joints occur where the connection between the articulating bones is made up of cartilage for example between vertebrae in the spine.

Cartilagenous

A cartilagenous joint between two vertebrae

Synchondroses are temporary joints which are only present in children, up until the end of puberty. For example the epiphyseal plates in long bones. Symphesis joints are permanant cartilagenous joints, for example the pubic symphesis.

Synovial Joints

Synovial (diarthrosis): Synovial joints are by far the most common classification of joint within the human body. They are highly moveable and all have a synovial capsule (collagenous structure) surrounding the entire joint, a synovial membrane (the inner layer of the capsule) which secretes synovial fluid (a lubricating liquid) and cartilage known as hyaline cartilage which pads the ends of the articulating bones. There are 6 types of synovial joints which are classified by the shape of the joint and the movement available.

Types of Synovial Joint

Fibrous joint

Resources:

Learn More About:

Joint Type Movement at joint Examples Structure
Hinge Flexion/Extension

Knee joint

Elbow/Knee

Hinge joint

Hinge joint

Pivot Rotation of one bone around another

Pivot joint

Top of the neck
(atlas and axis bones)

Pivot joint

Pivot Joint

Ball and Socket

Flexion/Extension/Adduction/

Abduction/Internal & External Rotation

Hip joint

Shoulder/Hip

Ball and socket

Ball and socket joint

Saddle

Flexion/Extension/Adduction/

Abduction/Circumduction

CMC joint of the thumb

CMC joint of the thumb

Saddle joint

Saddle joint

Condyloid

Flexion/Extension/Adduction/

Abduction/Circumduction

Condyloid joint

Wrist/MCP & MTP joints

Condyloid joint

Condyloid joint

Gliding Gliding movements

Gliding joint

Intercarpal joints

Gliding joint

Gliding joint

 

Test Yourself:

1. What are the three main classifications of joints?











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1. What are the three main classifications of joints?



  • Fibrous
  • Cartilagenous
  • Synovial





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2. What are fibrous joints held together by?












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2. What are fibrous joints held together by?



  • Ligaments







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3. What is the difference between cartilagenous synchondroses and symphesis joints?










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3. What is the difference between cartilagenous synchondroses and symphesis joints?



  • Synchondroses are temporary joints
  • Symphesis are permanent joints




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4. What movements are permitted at a ball and socket joint?











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4. What movements are permitted at a ball and socket joint?



  • Flexion / Extension
  • Adduction / Abduction
  • Internal / External rotation




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5. Name four features common to all synovial joints










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5. Name four features common to all synovial joints



  • Synovial capsule
  • Synovial membrane
  • Synovial fluid
  • Hyaline cartilage
  • Freely moveable

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