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What three joint types are there?

Fibrous, cartilaginous and synovial.


What characteristics define fibrous joints? Give two examples of a fibrous joint.

Fibrous joints function to ensure limited movement and ensure stability of the joint, they are between bones and such their structure is that of a ligament. They are made from dense fibrous connective tissue and an example is the cranial sutures or the distal tibofibula joint.


What characteristics define fibrous joints? Give two examples.

Cartilaginous joints allow for some movement and tend to serve special functions in various structures. They are made using primarily fibrocartilage and examples of this are the intervertebral discs as a structure or the pubic symphysis (joint at the anterior point of the pelvis which joins the two hip bones) as a joint.


What characteristics define synovial joints? Give two examples.

Allow free movement and found within most limb joints, uses hyaline cartilage and two examples of this are the elbow or the knee joint.


What important feature do synovial joints have which determines their range of movement at the joint?

Bone ends determine the range of motion at a joint (more bony congruence makes a joint more stable but tends to decrease range of movement).


What are the bone ends of synovial joints like?

the ends of both bones where they articulate and where they cross are coated in articular cartilage, the bone beneath this cartilage (subchondral bone) is smooth.


What are the capsular ligaments? Where are they most thick and tight? Where are they less thick and tight?

The capsular ligaments are made of dense fibrous connective tissue and act as a capsule (they don't, only help the capsule) which holds the bone together, it will be thicker and tighter where more support is needed and looser and less thick where movement is allowed.


What are the cavity and synovial membrane?

The cavity is empty space in the joint where there are no other structures, it provides a space for the bones to move into. The synovial membrane lines the inner surface of the capsule (capsular ligaments) and it acts to secrete synovial fluid, which provides lubrication of the joint.


What are intracapsular and cruciate ligaments?

Intracapsular ligaments are ligaments found inside the joint, cruciate ligaments are ones which cross.


What kind of ligaments are in the knee? What do they act to do?

The knee has capsular ligaments, in the knee these are known as collateral ligaments, the medial one restricts abduction while the lateral one restricts adduction. It also possesses intracapsular cruciate ligaments which arise from the tibia and insert into the femurs, the anterior cruciate restricts posterior displacement of the femur and the posterior cruciate restricts anterior displacement of the femur.


If you were to summarise the structure of fibrous, cartilaginous and synovial joints in picture form how would you do it?

Fibrous and cartilaginous: bones a fair distance apart, joined by a large joint which takes up the space between. Synovial: bones close together with a capsule surrounding.