the normal joint

Last reviewed 01/2018

There are three general types of joint where two or more bones come together, each type is characterised by different degrees of movement and function:

  • fibrous: cranial sutures, infererior tibiofibular joint
  • cartilaginous: intervertebral joints, pubic symphysis, joint between the first rib and manubrium
  • synovial joints: all other joints

Of these the most common and more important pathologically is the synovial joint. The synovial joint is characterised by the largest degree of movement.

Synovial joints are characterised by cartilage coated articular surfaces, surrounded by a fibrous capsule lined by an epithelial layer of synovium. This synovium secretes synovial fluid, into the joint space, which acts to lubricate the joint.