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Synovial joints

Learning objectives

Working through this study unit will allow you to:

  1. Name the 6 types of synovial joints. 
  2. Identify examples for each synovial joint type.
  3. Discover the axes of movement allowed by each type of synovial joint.

Watch video

Synovial joints are the most common types of joints in the human body. They typically connect two bones (usually in the limbs) and they give the human body its mobility.

There are 6 different types of synovial joints, each of which is named for its shape. In the following video we will examine the structure of the synovial joint and review the 6 types of synovial joints along with some examples of each type.

Take a quiz

Now that you’ve watched the video, test what you have learned with our tailored synovial joints quiz!

Test yourself even further with a fully customizable quiz on the joints of the human body! 

Browse atlas

Examine each component of a synovial joint with our atlas gallery:


Key points about the synovial joints
Types Plane, pivot, hinge, ellipsoid, saddle, ball and socket
Examples Plane joint: Acromioclavicular joint, intercarpal joints
Pivot joint:
Medial atlantoaxial joint, radioulnar joints
Hinge joint:
Elbow joint, knee joint, ankle joint
Ellipsoid joint:
Radiocarpal joint, metacarpophalangeal joints
Saddle joint:
First carpometacarpal joint
Ball and socket joint:
Hip joint, shoulder joint
Main components of synovial joints Articular cartilage: Covers the ends of the articulating bones
Articular capsule:
Composed of an outer fibrous layer and inner synovial membrane
Joint cavity:
Filled with synovial fluid
Reinforcing ligaments:
Support the articular capsule

Well done!

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