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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

What's the main function of the CELL
Victor Reply
Is the smallest unit of an living things
Chanda Reply
Okay
Jason
What is a cell
Jason Reply
A cell is the basic unit of life.
Bernard
what is the photosynthesis
Brian Reply
describe cellular event during meiosis
Ruth Reply
what is reproduction
Ruth
reproduction is the process by which living organisms give birth to new offsprings of the same kinds
Bernard
Reproduction is a process by which organisms give rise to new members of their species
Fru
Reproduction is the process whereby living organisms produces the young ones of their own kind to ensure continuity of life
Eunice
what are the example of photosynthesis
Gamshe Reply
Is how plant covert sugar and energy, air and sunlight into energy to grow
Timileyin
An example of photosynthesis is how plants convert sugar and energy from water, air and sunlight into energy to grow.
Bernard
Pls how fertilization occurs in the womb
Rebecca
Pls am asking how does fertilization occurs in the womb
Rebecca
An egg is released in the ovary of a woman during ovulation. in the presence of a sperm this egg cell fuses with the sperm cell to form a zygote ( fertilization) this zygote now moves thru the fallopian tube down to the womb where implantation takes place. the zygote develops thru to a baby
Fru
how are you everyone in here
Brian
what is biology
Odion
My cordial salam to everybody. I have a question to all. What do you mean by plasma membrane?
Mahmud Reply
Plasma membrane or Cell membrane is the outer layer of tissue surrounding the whole or part of an organ. in addition, it is the outer flexible or semi-flexible covering or waterproofing whose primary function is to exclude water.(usually in plants and animals).
Job
I have a question .... Why cell wall is not present in animals cells and why it is present in plants cells?
ShAmy
what is glucose
Sisay
how alkali metal form
Puskal Reply
what is a cytosol
Siddeeqah Reply
cytosol is the internal fluid of the cell and a large part of cell were metabolism occur
Bernard
u are right dear.
Job
what is cell
Prince Reply
I think that cell is structural unit of our body. Because I have come to know that cell is the structure and biological function of an organism in the eye of scientists.
Mahmud
Cell is the fundamental, structural and functional unit of life
Winifred
Absolutely you are right. But what do you mean by life?
Mahmud
cell is the basic unit of life
Siddeeqah
life is the study of living organisms
Bernard
Cell is the basic, structural and functional unit of life. therefor no living organisms exist without a cell or a healthy cell.
Job
synthesis of 1 molecules of glucose requires
Purvesh Reply
what is the chemical composition of water
Abigail Reply
h20
Rita
h20
Asad
H20
Mathews
H2o
Bernard
H2O
Michelle
H2O
Emzzy
What is skeleton
Emzzy
skeleton is an internal or external framework of bones
Michelle
Skeleton is the structural frame work of the body
Niimat
Skeleton is the internal bony framework of the body of living organisms.
Job
what is ecology
Iyiola
What is a lymph?
Karisto
Oh, how's is it going..
Brian Reply
not too good
Monique
hy
Adeola
hi
Imamkasim
hi
Veronica
Any one else taking Bio 1406 with Stephanie Martin?
Veronica
where is it ?
ShAmy
am here Veronica
iyota
Not bad
Winifred
Part of compound microscope
Bakish Reply
a. body b. stage clip c. adjacent knob d. arm e. eye piece
Kpodo
E
Rita
give five difference between worker and queen bee.
Imamkasim
How do u know when you want to urinate
Akpo Reply
how do you know when you want to urinate
Akpo
I don't know please explain
Coded
As the bladder fills up .. the signals are sent to the brain specifying that its filling up and should be emptied and the fuller it gets, the more signals/ alerts are sent to brain ...leading to the urge to urinate .... to go pee
Khalida
OK thank you
Coded
hello
Issiya
hi
Abigail
wat
Gamshe

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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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