November 17, 2020
Stretching joints

Your body is made up of all sorts of joints, but do you know how your joints are structured or what their functions are? If not, keep reading this blog! We will talk all about joint structures, functions, and even some types of joints. 

What are Joint Structures?

Joints can be classified by their joint structure, which depends on how the bones connect and what type of tissue binds the bones together. These are the three types of joint structures:

  • Fibrous Joints – Fibrous joints are when the bones are connected with a thick connective tissue that is rich in collagen fibers. Since this kind of tissue is dense and tough, that is why most fibrous joints are immovable. 
  • Cartilaginous Joints – Cartilaginous joints are bones that are bound together by cartilage. This type of joint allows more movement than fibrous joints but less movement than synovial joints. 
  • Synovial Joints – Synovial joints have a cavity of fluid between the bones. This is the most common type of joint and also the most freely movable joint. 

What are Joint Functions?

Joints can also be classified by joint functions or their range in motion. The joint function relies heavily on the structure. These are the three types of joint functions:

  • Immovable Joints – Immovable joints allow for little to no movement. Most of these types of joints are fibrous. An example of non-moving joints are sutures, which connect bones in the skull.
  • Partly Movable Joints – Partly movable joints allow for slight movement. These types of joints are mostly cartilaginous. Examples of these joints can be found between the vertebrae, ribs, and sternum.
  • Movable Joints – Movable joints allow the bones to be completely mobile and move freely. All movable joints are synovial. Examples of mobile joints are the knee, shoulder, hip, and elbow. 

What are Movable Types of Joints?

Here are some examples of mobile joints.

  • Ball-and-Socket Joints – A ball-and-socket joint is where two bones meet – one of the bones has a rounded head and rests in the cup-like socket of the other. This type of joint allows for the most movement. The only two ball-and-socket joints in the body are the hip and shoulder.
  • Hinge Joints – Hinge joints allow movement in one direction. These joints act like a door opening and closing. Examples of hinge joints are elbows and knees. 
  • Pivot Joints – A pivot joint is a rotary joint. This type of joint lets you swivel one bone around another. An example of a pivot joint is the first and second vertebrae in the neck, which allows you to turn your head left and right.
  • Condyloid Joints – Condyloid joints have movements of all directions but can’t rotate. An example of a condyloid joint is the wrist.
  • Saddle Joints – A saddle joint enables you to move the bone side to side but not in rotation. An example of a saddle joint your thumb. 
  • Gliding Joints – A gliding joint is formed between bones that meet a flat (or mostly flat) surface. This allows the bones to glide past one another. The ankle is an example of this joint. 

Closing Thoughts

If your joints have aches and pains, it is time to see a doctor. At Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery, PC, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, we are equipped with a highly skilled team of practitioners and physical therapists who can guide our patients to a successful recovery. To schedule a consultation, please call 402-489-4700 or visit www.prairie-ortho.com.

TAGS joints , orthopaedic , Prairie Orthopaedics