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What is a Joint?


Updated June 05, 2014

Close-up of a woman putting on a wristband
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Definition: In anatomy, the term "joint" refers to the physical point of connection between two bones. For example, the knee joint refers to the point of connection between the femur, or thigh bone, and the tibia, or shin bone. Joints also contain a variety of fibrous connective tissue such as ligaments, which connect the bones together and tendons which connect muscle to bone and cartilage, which covers the ends of bones and provides some cushioning.

The most common joints, freely movable joints in the body are called synovial joints. Synovial joints are surrounded by a fibrous tissue or sac called the joint capsule. This capsule surrounds the joint and is filled with a fluid called synovial fluid that lubricates the tissues and spaces within this capsule.

Joint types:

  • ball and socket joints
  • hinge joints
  • condyloid joints
  • pivot joints
  • gliding joints
  • saddle joints

Joint Movements include:

  • Gliding
  • Angular
  • Circumduction
  • Rotation

The word "joint" is from the Latin word that means a joining or a junction.

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