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Fibrous, cartilage, and synovial joints
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Your body is made of around 206 bones, which are connected together by about 360 joints.
These joints can be classified into three main groups based on their structure and how they move.
Let’s begin with the fibrous joints, which are also called synarthrosis or fixed joints.
In fibrous joints, bones are connected by ligaments and they fall into three main categories based on their location.
First, we have sutures, which are the joints between the bones of the skull.
Skull bones are supported by their interlocking design and short ligaments that connect adjacent bones together.
Second, there’s the syndesmosis which is the joint between the radius and ulna in the forearm. Along their shafts, they are attached by long bands of ligaments called the interosseous membrane.
Next are the cartilaginous joints, which are joints surrounded by hyaline cartilage which can stretch to allow some movement.
There are three types of joints in the human body: fibrous, cartilaginous, and synovial. Fibrous joints are held together by dense connective tissue, cartilaginous joints are held together by cartilage, and synovial joints are free-moving and enclosed in a capsule. Each type of joint has different features and performs different functions.
Fibrous joints include the sutures between the bones of the skull. These are very strong joints but with limited to no motion. Cartilaginous joints include the disks that separate the vertebrae. These joints allow for some movement but are mostly stable. Synovial joints are the most common type of joint in the body and include all joints that move, such as the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. Synovial joints are surrounded by a capsule filled with synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint and allows for smooth movement.
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