Human Anatomy and Physiology : Identifying Types of Joints

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Human Anatomy and Physiology

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Types Of Joints

Which of the following types of joints allows the greatest degree of freedom?

Possible Answers:

Suture joints

Fibrous joints

Synarthrotic joints

Cartilaginous joints

Sinovial joints

Correct answer:

Sinovial joints

Explanation:

Joints allowing a great range of motion require lubrication. This lubrication is provided by sinovial fluid, which is present in sinovial joints. The fluid is encased inside a membrane to provide this lubrication, allowing a greater degree of motion.

Fibrous joints and suture joints are significantly less mobile, while cartilaginous joints are somewhat less mobile. Synarthrosis is a term used to describe any type of joint that does not allow for motion.

Example Question #2 : Joints

What kind of joint exists between the first metacarpal and the trapezium?

Possible Answers:

Hinge joint

Rotational joint

Saddle joint

Ball-and-socket joint

Suture joint

Correct answer:

Saddle joint

Explanation:

The joint between the first metacarpal and the trapezium (thumb joint) is a saddle joint. This allows for opposition and movement in three dimensions.

Ball-and-socket joints are found in the shoulder joints and hip joints. Hinge joints are found in the knee and elbow joints. The only rotational joints exist between the radius and ulna, allowing for pronation and supination. Suture joints are used to fuse bones together, and can be found in the skull.

Example Question #2 : Identifying Types Of Joints

Which of the following best describes synchondroses?

Possible Answers:

A joint held together by only a ligament connection, such as the radioulnar joint

The cartilage pad found at the ends or articularting bones, helping to cushion and anchor joints

Joints capable of a wide range of motion, such as the glenohumoral joint

A collagenous structure that surrounds an entire synovial joint

A joint held together by only a cartilage connection, such as the joint between the diaphysis and epiphysis in a developing bone

Correct answer:

A joint held together by only a cartilage connection, such as the joint between the diaphysis and epiphysis in a developing bone

Explanation:

Synchondroses are joints connecting two bones by a band of cartilage. Commonly, this type of joint is found at the ends of developing long bones between the diaphysis and epiphyses, where a thin band of cartilage is responsible for bone growth during intramembranous ossification. This joint eventually fuses as growth ends. In contrast, the ribs are connected to the sternum via permanent synchondrosis joints: the costochondral joint, which joins the rib and the cartilage band, and the sternocostal joint, joining the cartilage and the sternum.

Example Question #1 : Identifying Types Of Joints

Which of the following correctly lists an example of each joint type in order: 

Syndesmosis, Cartilaginous, Synovial

Possible Answers:

Intercarpal, radioulnar, epiphyseal plate

Superior tibiofibular, intercarpal, radioulnar

Atlas, axis, metatarsophalangeal

Condyloid, pivot, gliding

Inferior tibiofibular, pubic symphesis, intercarpal

Correct answer:

Inferior tibiofibular, pubic symphesis, intercarpal

Explanation:

Syndesmosis joints are held together by bands of connective tissue (ligaments), but lack the synovial fluid and capsule structure of a synovial joint. This limits their mobility; while some motion between the bones is possible, the joint is fairly rigid. The inferior (or distal) tibiofibular joint is a syndesmosis in which the tibia and fibula are connected near the ankle. Damage to this joint is known as a high ankle sprain.

Cartilaginous joints encompass the classifications of synchondroses and symphyses. Synchondroses are cartilaginous joints in which bones are joined by hyaline cartilage, while symphyses are joined by fibrocartilage. The pubic symphysis is a cartilaginous joint that connects the pelvic bones via fibrocartilage.

Synovial joints are surrounded by a joint capsule, which holds the joint in a matrix of synovial fluid. This fluid provides the joint with lubrication for a wide range of motion. Many of the joints commonly associated with movement and locomotion are synovial joints. The intercarpal joints, found between the bones of the wrist, are synovial joints.

Example Question #5 : Joints

What does the following list best describe?

Hinge, Pivot, Ball and Socket, Saddle, Condyloid, Gliding

Possible Answers:

Types of joint-ligament connections

Types of synovial joints

Types of fibrous joints

Types of joint plates

Types of cartilaginous joints

Correct answer:

Types of synovial joints

Explanation:

These are all types of synovial joints, defined by their apparent shapes and mechanisms of motion. For example, the knee is a hinge joint, which allows flexion and extension along a single axis, but not adduction or rotation.

Example Question #4 : Identifying Types Of Joints

Which of the following is considered a trochoid (pivot) joint?

Possible Answers:

Acromioclavicular joint

Sternoclavicular joint 

Humeroulnar joint

Atlanotoaxial joint

Glenohumeral joint

Correct answer:

Atlanotoaxial joint

Explanation:

The atlantoaxial joint connects the C1 vertebra (atlas) and the C2 vertebra (axis). This joint allows for side-to-side turning of the head, classifying it as a pivot joint. The atlantoaxial joint has the greatest range of motion of any intervetebral joints in the body.

The humeroulnar joint is a a hinge joint (the elbow), capable of flexion and extension in a single plane. The sternoclavicular joint is a saddle joint joining the medial end of the clavicle to the sternum. The acromioclavicular joint is a gliding joint joining the distal end of the clavicle to the acromion process of the scapula. The glenohumeral joint is a ball and socket joint securing the proximal end fo the humerus to the glenoid fossa of the scapula.

Example Question #7 : Joints

Which is the weaker of the three ball-and-socket joints?

Possible Answers:

The elbow, shoulder, and ankle

The knee, hip, and the shoulder

None of these

The elbow, knee, and hip

The ankle, hip, and knee

Correct answer:

None of these

Explanation:

There are only two ball and socket joints in the human body. They are the hip and the shoulder joints (there are two in the hip and one in each shoulder). Of the two areas where there are ball and socket joints, the shoulder is the weakest. More shoulder dislocations occur than any other joint. The greater the range of movement, generally the weaker the joint is. Unlike the hip which has a deeper depression for the femur to fit into, the shoulder joint has a relatively shallow depression for the humerus to fit into. This coupled with its weaker tendons makes it the weaker of the two ball and socket joints.

Example Question #5 : Identifying Types Of Joints

Which type of joint only permits sagittal plane movement?

Possible Answers:

Ball and socket

Ginglymus

Lateral ginglymus

Cotyloid

Pivot joint

Correct answer:

Ginglymus

Explanation:

Ginglymus joints are also known as hinge joints, which only permit flexion/extension movements. The humeroulnar joint of the elbow is the best example of this. Cotyloid and ball and socket joints are synonymous, and permit motion in all three planes. Pivot joints and lateral ginglymus are synonymous, and permite transverse plane movement.

Example Question #9 : Joints

What is an example of a ball and socket joint?

Possible Answers:

The thumb

The shoulder

The elbow

The knuckles

Correct answer:

The shoulder

Explanation:

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, which allows a wide range of movement. The elbow is a hinge joint, which only allows movement in one plane. The thumb is a saddle joint, which allows movements in a variety of directions. Finally, the knuckles are a condyloid joint which is a rounded bone moving within a shallow "bowl" shape of another bone.

Example Question #10 : Joints

Order the three main types of joints in descending order of mobility.

Possible Answers:

Diarthroses, amphiarthroses, synarthroses

None of these

Amphiarthroses, synarthroses, diarthroses

Diarthroses, synarthroses, amphiarthroses

Synarthroses, diarthroses, amphiarthroses

Correct answer:

Diarthroses, amphiarthroses, synarthroses

Explanation:

Diarthroses like the elbow and knee allow free movement. Amphiarthroses allow slight movement and are found in areas where flexibility is needed, but a lot of flexibility would be unwanted such as the vertebral joints. Synarthroses allow no movement. The sutures of the skull are an example.

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