Types of slightly movable joints

Written by kyle fiechter
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Types of slightly movable joints
The vertebrae in your backbone is an example of a slightly movable joint. (skeleton image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)

A joint, or articulation, is a place where two bones come together. Joints allow three types of movement: immovable, slightly movable and freely movable. Joints that are slightly movable are called amphiarthroses and are typically characterised by bones that are connected with hyaline cartilage, the type of cartilage that holds each disc, or vertebra, in your backbone together.

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Symphysis

Symphysis articulations are joints held together by a broad, flat, cartilaginous disc. These are strong amphiarthroses and are the types of joints you probably think of when you think of "movable joints" -- they don't move as much as your fingers, but can move more than the sutures in your skull.

Syndesmosis

Fibrous joints that are slightly movable are called syndesmoses. Syndesmoses are connected with fibrous connective tissue that forms a sheet of tissue or ligaments that allow slight movement of bones against each other.

Examples

Examples of slightly-movable, cartilaginous joints (symphysis) include the vertebrae in your back, your pelvic girdle and the ribs that connect to your sternum.

Examples of fibrous joints (syndesmoses) are the attachments of the radius and ulna in your forearm, the attachments of the tibia and fibula in your lower leg and the inferior tibiofibular joint in your lower leg.

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