Skeletal System


Classification of Joints Based on Function

The functional classification of joints is determined by the degree and range of movement the joint allows. The three functional categories for joints are synarthrosis, amphiarthrosis, and diarthrosis. A synarthrosis joint (from the Greek syn, meaning “together,” and arthrosis, meaning “articulation”) is immovable. An amphiarthrosis joint (from the Greek amphi, meaning “on both sides”) is slightly movable. A diarthrosis joint (from the Greek dia, meaning “between”) is a freely movable joint.

Functional Category Structural Categorya Example
Synarthrosis (immovable joints) Fibrous
Suture Between bones of adult skull
Gomphosis Between teeth and jaw
Synchondrosis Epiphyseal cartilages
Amphiarthrosis (little movement) Fibrous
Syndesmosis Between the tibia and fibula
Cartilaginous Between right and left public bones of pelvis
Symphysis Between adjacent vertebral bodies along vertebral column
Diarthrosis (free movement) Synovial Elbow, ankle, ribs, wrist, shoulder, hip

Types of bone joints. 1 = Hinge joint; 2 = Saddle joint; 3 = Pivot joint; 4 = Ball and socket; 5 = Condyloid joint; 6 = Plane joint. (From Moore, K. L., and Agur, A. Essential Clinical Anatomy, 2nd Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2002.)

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