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Free Anatomy Quiz

What are the differences between the three classes of joints?


Test your knowledge of the different types of joints by answering the following questions. If you get stuck on any of them, you'll find the answers in the article below.


Q1. _________ joints are slightly moveable.


Q2. __________ joints are freely moveable.


Q3. There are ________ types of synovial joints.


Q4. The bones of the skull are ________ joints.


Q5. The lubricating fluid in a ball and socket joints is called _________ fluid.


Q6. The vertebral bodies of the spine are connected by _________ joints.


Q7. The joints in the limbs are predominantly __________ joints.


Q8. Synovial joints are held together by ___________ .



What are the differences between the three classes of joints?


Joints are classified according to how movable they are. There are:


  • immovable, fixed joints (such as those found between the bones of the skull, which are held together with fibrous connective tissue),

  • slightly movable, cartilaginous joints (such as those between the vertebral bodies of the spine, which are connected to each other by pads of cartilage which can compress slightly to allow movement),

  • and freely movable, synovial joints (predominantly in the limbs; these joints allow mobility).


Synovial joints are lubricated by a liquid called synovial fluid, and held by ligaments to provide stability. There are several different types of synovial joint, classified according to the shapes of the articulating bones, or by the range of movement they allow, as follows:


  • Ball and socket joints, such as those of the hip and shoulder joints,

  • Hinge joints, such as those of the knee and elbow,

  • Gliding joints, such as those between the carpal or tarsal bones,

  • Pivot joints, such as those between the first and second cervical vertebrae (the atlas and the axila),

  • Saddle joints, such as those between the carpal and metacarpal bones of the thumb

  • and condyloid joints, such as the joints between the metacarpals and phalanges




Reference: Clinically Oriented Anatomy, Moore








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