Types of Joints in the Human Body

Print this page to use as a study guide. You will take a quiz tomorrow. You will be required to identify each joint by name and provide examples in the human body.

The ball-shaped end of one bone fits into a cup shaped socket on the other bone allowing the widest range of motion including rotation. Examples include the shoulder and hip.

ball-and-socket

A convex projection on one bone fits into a concave depression in another permitting only flexion and extension as in the elbow and knee joints.

hinge

Flat or slightly flat surfaces move against each other allowing sliding or twisting without any circular movement. This happens in the carpals in the wrist and the tarsals in the ankle.

gliding

This type of joint occurs when the touching surfaces of two bones have both concave and convex regions with the shapes of the two bones complementing one other and allowing a wide range of movement. The only saddle joint in the body is in the thumb.

saddle

 

Ellipsoid joints are similar to a ball and socket joint. They allow the same type of movment to a lesser magnitude. The wrist is an ellipsoid joint.

Ellipsoid

 

Pivot joints allow rotation arround an axis. The neck and forearms have pivot joints. In the neck the occipital bone spins over the top of the axis. In the forearms the radius and ulnatwist arround each other.


pivot

On to the Quiz