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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Classify the different types of joints on the basis of structure
  • Explain the role of joints in skeletal movement

The point at which two or more bones meet is called a joint    , or articulation    . Joints are responsible for movement, such as the movement of limbs, and stability, such as the stability found in the bones of the skull.

Classification of joints on the basis of structure

There are two ways to classify joints: on the basis of their structure or on the basis of their function. The structural classification divides joints into bony, fibrous, cartilaginous, and synovial joints depending on the material composing the joint and the presence or absence of a cavity in the joint.

Fibrous joints

The bones of fibrous joints are held together by fibrous connective tissue. There is no cavity, or space, present between the bones and so most fibrous joints do not move at all, or are only capable of minor movements. There are three types of fibrous joints: sutures, syndesmoses, and gomphoses. Sutures are found only in the skull and possess short fibers of connective tissue that hold the skull bones tightly in place ( [link] ).

Illustration shows sutures that knit the back part of the skull together with the front and lower parts.
Sutures are fibrous joints found only in the skull.

Syndesmoses are joints in which the bones are connected by a band of connective tissue, allowing for more movement than in a suture. An example of a syndesmosis is the joint of the tibia and fibula in the ankle. The amount of movement in these types of joints is determined by the length of the connective tissue fibers. Gomphoses occur between teeth and their sockets; the term refers to the way the tooth fits into the socket like a peg ( [link] ). The tooth is connected to the socket by a connective tissue referred to as the periodontal ligament.

Illustration shows a gomphosis connecting a tooth to the jaw. The gomphoses have a porous appearance.
Gomphoses are fibrous joints between the teeth and their sockets. (credit: modification of work by Gray's Anatomy)

Cartilaginous joints

Cartilaginous joints are joints in which the bones are connected by cartilage. There are two types of cartilaginous joints: synchondroses and symphyses. In a synchondrosis    , the bones are joined by hyaline cartilage. Synchondroses are found in the epiphyseal plates of growing bones in children. In symphyses , hyaline cartilage covers the end of the bone but the connection between bones occurs through fibrocartilage. Symphyses are found at the joints between vertebrae. Either type of cartilaginous joint allows for very little movement.

Synovial joints

Synovial joints are the only joints that have a space between the adjoining bones ( [link] ). This space is referred to as the synovial (or joint) cavity and is filled with synovial fluid. Synovial fluid lubricates the joint, reducing friction between the bones and allowing for greater movement. The ends of the bones are covered with articular cartilage, a hyaline cartilage, and the entire joint is surrounded by an articular capsule composed of connective tissue that allows movement of the joint while resisting dislocation. Articular capsules may also possess ligaments that hold the bones together. Synovial joints are capable of the greatest movement of the three structural joint types; however, the more mobile a joint, the weaker the joint. Knees, elbows, and shoulders are examples of synovial joints.

Questions & Answers

using fractional distillation
Mpho Reply
how can a mixture of water and ethanal be separated
Dau Reply
what is photosynthesis
Ochang Reply
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make their own food.
Namwanje
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants manufacture their own food through sunlight, carbon dioxide and water.
Timmy
photosynthesis is the process by which green plant make a food etc . sunlight, carbon dioxide, oxygen ,gulucose.
Kaishar
Photosynthesis this is the process by which green plant can manufacture their own food with the uses of simple substances
Abibatu
Is the mitochondria the powerhouse of the cell? Or is it the Nucleus?
Akko Reply
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the cell wall of bacteria is called....
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peptidoglycan
Henry
peptidoglycan (also called murein), which is made from polysaccharide chains cross-linked by unusual peptides containing D-amino acids.
Henry
define alkali metals
Muhammad Reply
What's a skeletal system.
Sulemana Reply
Skeletal system is the internal framework of human body
Ayaan
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Sulemana
What is Dentition
Immanuel Reply
It refers to The shape of the teeth
Yaye
it refers to the arrangements of the teeths
Ofofonono
it refers to the dental formular
Kwagala
what's the function of kidney?
Kwagala
what is microscope
Sandy Reply
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Tamuka
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Tamuka
a microscope is a laboratory instrument used to examine objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Microscopy is the science of investigating small objects and structures using a microscope.
Nadia
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Tamuka
explain the mechanism of absorption of water and minerals by roots of plants
MARKSMAN
a microscope is a laboratory instrument used to view very tiny organisms which can not be seen by our naked eyes
Kwagala
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Aziz
what is scabex?
Aziz
what is soil
Salam Reply
God made the world Germans made constituents.discuss
MARKSMAN
it is the upper most part of the land
Joseph
soil is the uppermost layer of the earth crust that support life and serves as rigid foundation for different structures
Jamiu
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Abdullahi Reply
diffusion is a movement of particles from where the is high concentrated solution to where the is less concentrated solution
Lolly
diffusion is the movement of particles from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration
Benah
Diffusion is the movement of molecules or ions from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration down a concentration gradient until equilibrium is achieve and they are evenly distributed equally
Alhassan
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Mohammed Reply
they have same number of valence electrons in their outermost shell
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give us definition
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these are soil organisms
Ibrahim
a Microorganism is an organism that is microscopic
Lolly
an organism that cannot be see with the eye.
Lucile

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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