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synarthrosis

A nonmovable joint between bones; all such joints are composed of dense fibrous connective tissue (collagen), e.g., the sutures of the skull.

amphiarthrosis

A slightly movable joint between bones; some of such joints are composed of dense fibrous connective tissue (collagen), e.g., the ligaments between the distal ends of the tibia and fibula, while other such joints are connected by cartilage, such as the hyaline cartilage connecting the ribs to the sternum or the fibrocartilage of the pubic symphysis and intervertebral discs.

diarthrosis

A freely movable joint between bones; all such joints are synovial joints in terms of their structure.

gliding joint

A type of (translational) synovial joint in which the articular cartilage surfaces of the adjacent bones are planar (relatively flat) and where the joint capsule and ligaments allow only slight translational, sliding movements; e.g., the intercarpal and intertarsal joints.

hinge joint

A type of (uniaxial) synovial joint in which the articular cartilage surface of one bone is relatively cylindrical with a groove or depression to guide the movement of the articular cartilage surface of the other bone which is trough shaped with a ridge that fits the groove in the opposite bone; this design allows uniaxial movements in only one plane; e.g., flexion and extension at the elbow, knee or interphalangeal joints.

pivot joint

A type of (uniaxial) synovial joint in which the articular cartilage surface of one bone is rounded and moves against a ring or sleeve-shaped articular cartilage surface on the other bone which may be additionally supported by ligaments; this design allows uniaxial rotational movement of the first bone around its own long axis; e.g., rotation between the dens of the axis (C2) and the atlas (C1) or between head of the radius and the radial notch of the ulna at the elbow.

condyloid joint

A type of synovial joint in which the articular cartilage surface of one bone is rounded and convex and moves against rounded concave articular cartilage surface on the other bone; this design allows biaxial angular movements including flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, and combinations of these movements; e.g., the metacarpophalangeal joints (knuckles), the radiocarpal joint (wrist), the joint between the occipital bone at the base of the skull and the atlas (C1), etc.

saddle joint

A type of (biaxial) synovial joint in which the articular cartilage surfaces of both bones are rounded with both convex and concave regions on each articular surface; this design allows greater freedom of movement than condyloid joints; the carpometacarpal joints of the thumbs

ball-and-socket joint

A type of (multiaxial) synovial joint in which the articular cartilage surface of one bone is convex and hemispherical and moves against a rounded concave cup-like articular cartilage surface on the other bone; this design allows multiaxial angular and rotational movements including flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, rotation around the long axis of the first bone and circumduction; e.g., the glenohumeral (shoulder) and femerocoxal (hip) joints.

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