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Types of Joint Movement & Tissue Structure and Function

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  • 0:05 Joint Categorization
  • 0:56 Synovial/Cartilaginous…
  • 2:23 Synarthrosis,…
  • 2:59 Recalling Mobility
  • 3:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Find out how your joints are categorized. You'll learn about the synovial, cartilaginous, and fibrous joints as well as diarthrosis, synarthrosis, and amphiarthrosis.

Joint Categorization

Just like every person is a bit different, so are the joints in your body. They may look similar superficially, but, oftentimes, they are made of different types of tissue and do not allow the same type of movement as other joints might.

Therefore, joints can be classified in one of two main ways. The first is by their structure or tissue type, and the second is by the amount of movement they allow.

The structural classification system groups joints into three types: synovial, cartilaginous, and fibrous joints, while the functional, or degree of movement, classification system groups joints into diarthrosis, synarthrosis, and amphiarthrosis type joints.

Synovial Joints

Synovial joints are the most common joint tissue type.
Synovial Joint

I like to think of joint tissue types similar to the stages of life in a human. When we're little, we can easily move about, but as we age, we are less able to do so.

Hence, I'll introduce the youngest - or the little kid, so to speak - of the joint family. The most common and movable joint tissue type in the body is known as the synovial joint. These types of joints have a joint capsule encasing the joint and synovial fluid within the joint, which helps to cushion and protect the joint itself. Most of the joints you can think of, like the shoulder, hip, wrist, elbow, and knee, are synovial joints.

Cartilaginous Joints

A slightly older, less mobile joint version - like the parents of the family - are called the cartilaginous joints. This is a type of joint connected by hyaline or fibrocartilage and allows less mobility than synovial joints. A famous joint of this type forms the intervertebral discs of the spinal column.

Fibrous Joints

The least movable - the old man, so to speak - of the joint tissue types is the fibrous joint, which is a joint made up of dense connective tissue that doesn't allow for movement between the bones that form the joint. This type of joint is present between the bones of the skull, commonly referred to as the sutures of the skull.

Fibrous joints are made up of dense connective tissue and do not move.
Fibrous Joints

Synarthrosis

Our grandma of the family, due to her age, is also highly immobile. Hence, she is a type of synarthrosis joint, which, like the fibrous joint I just mentioned, is a type of joint that allows for little to no mobility.

Amphiarthrosis

The parents - or slightly more mobile cartilaginous joints - are a type of amphiarthrosis joint, which is a joint that allows for slight mobility.

Diarthrosis

The most freely movable joints, however, are called diarthrosis joints. Like the kids of the family, they are the synovial joints we talked about before.

Recalling Mobility

It's easy to remember which of these joints does what! The prefix 'syn' in 'synarthrosis' means united, 'amphi' in 'amphiarthrosis' means both, and 'di' in 'diarthrosis' means double, while the term 'arthrosis' refers to an articulation of a joint.

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