The structure of a hinge joint

Written by kristine brite | 13/05/2017
The structure of a hinge joint
The knee is a hinge joint. (knee image by Vasily Smirnov from

Hinge joints connect two human bones. They're found at the end of these bones and allow for back-and-forth movement. Hinge joints are the most intricate of all human joints, and are grouped under synovial joints.

A hinge joint is a joint that moves uniaxially. Elbows, knuckles and knees are hinge joints. They are designed to allow side-to-side motion along with back-and-forth movement.


The hinge joint is made of strong ligaments, which are covered with cartilage. A small amount of synovial fluid surrounds the joint, lubricating and allowing for pain-free movement. Synovial fluid is a thick, egg-like fluid found throughout the body, particularly around hinge joints.


The ligaments that make up a hinge joint both allow movement and limit motion at the same time. This directs the movement of the hinge joint and allows for greater back-and-forth movement with a limited side-to-side range. For example, the knee joint can move back and forth easily, but has limited motion side to side.

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.