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Ball and socket joint

Recommended video: Types of synovial joints [18:19]
Synovial joints are the main type of joints found in the body.

Ball-and-socket joints are one of the six types of synovial joints, the others being plane, pivot, hinge, saddle and ellipsoid.

Ball-and-socket joints are the most mobile of all joints in the human body, allowing movements in all three planes and about all three axes, hence are termed polyaxial (multiaxial/triaxial)  joints. They get their name from the spherical shape (ball) of one bone articulating with the cup-shaped (socket) surface of the other bone. Prime examples of these articulations include the hip joint, between the head of the femur (ball) and acetabulum of the pelvis (socket), and the glenohumeral joint, between the head of the humerus (ball) and glenoid fossa of the scapula (socket). 

Movements permitted by ball-and-socket joints typically include: flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, medial and lateral rotation. 

Terminology English: Ball-and-socket joint Latin: Articulatio sphaeroidea
Classification Polyaxial (multiaxial/triaxial) synovial joint
Function Allows movement around all three axes (three degrees of freedom)

Learn more about synovial joints with the following study unit: 

Ball and socket joint: want to learn more about it?

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