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All about joints!

Joints (articulations)

The sites where two or more bones meet.


Are immovable joints


Slightly movable joints


Freely movable joints.

Fibrous Joints

The bones are joined by fibrous tissue, namely dense fibrous connective tissue, and no joint cavity is present.


Literally "seams," only occur between bones of the skull.


Literally "bony junctions."


Joints held together by a ligament where fibrous tissue can vary in length, mostly joined by dense fibrous connective tissue and has NO joint cavity.


"Peg-in-socket" fibrous joint. There are only one example in the periodontal area.

Cartilaginous Joints

The articulating bones are united by cartilage. They are not highly movable.


Immovable, utilizes hyaline cartilage.


Slightly movable articular surface covered with hyaline cartilage that is attached to fibrocartilage.


The most abundant joint type in the body, opposing bones separated by fluid filled cavity. Classified as Diathrotic (Free movements)

Purpose of Articular Cartilage

Absorbs compression

Articular Capsule

External Fibrous capsule and Synovial membrane

Synovial Fluid

A fluid that occupies all free spaces within the joint capsule, derived largely by filtration from blood flowing through the capillaries in the synovial membrane. It is essentially lubricant.

Articular Cartilage

Hyaline cartilage covers the opposing bone surfaces and the main function is to absorb compression.

Joint (Synovial Cavity)

A potential space that contains a small amount of lubrication

Reinforcing Ligaments

Thickened parts of the fibrous capsule.

Articular Discs (Menisci)

Wedges of fibrocartilage separating the articular suraces.


"Purse" are flattened fibrous sacs lined with synovial membrane and containing a thin film of synovial fluid, occuring where bones rub together.

Tendon Sheath

Essentially an elongated bursa that wraps completely around a tendon subjected to friction, like a bun around a hot dog. Common where several tendons crowd together within narrow canals.

Muscle Tone

The most important joint stablizer of synovial joints, defined as low levels of contractile activity in relaxed muscles that keep the muscles healthy and ready to react to stimulation.

The 3 Major Joint Classes

Fibrous, Cartilaginous, Synovial


Insertion moving toward origin.

Articular Surface

Shallow sockets, non-complimentary surfaces.

Knee consists of 3 Joints

Femoropatellar, Lateral joint, Medial joint


When the ligaments reinforcing a joint are stretched and torn.

Dislocation (Luxation)

Occurs when bones are forced out of alignment.


A partial dislocation.


A term that describes over 100 different types of inflamatory or degenerative diseases that damage joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

An autoimmune disease that is more prevalent in women that is highly disfiguring.


The most common form of arthritis. 33% of USA have evidence of it. Progressive loss of articular cartilage and synovitis due to enzymatic breakdown of joint structures.


Disease caused by Uric Acid.

Coracohumeral Ligament

Provides the only strong thickening of the capsule and helps support the weight of the upper limb.

Glenohumeral Ligament

Three of them strengthen the front of the capsule somewhat but are weak and mya even be absent.

Acronym for Rotator Cuff


The Rotator Cuff

Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Subscapularis


The intermediate one between the patella and the lower end of the femur.

Lateral Joint (knee)

The outter most joint in the knee.

Medial Joint (knee)

The inner most joint in the knee.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Attaches to the anterior intercondylar area of the tibia.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament

Attaches to the posterior intercondylar area of the tibia.


Inflammation of a bursa and is usually caused by a blow or friction.


IS inflammation of tendon sheaths, typically caused by over use. Symptoms are pain and swelling and treatment is rest, ice, and NSAIDS)



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