What's The Structure Of A Typical Movable Joint?


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The movement of the bones relative to each other can only occur at a joint. A joint is a place where two or more bones meet. Joints may be of two types as following: Immovable joints e.g. between the bones in the skull and the second type is of movable joints.
All movable joints have a similar structure. Whenever one bone moves against another, their articulating surfaces tend to wear out. Friction during movement generates heat which may destroy the tissue of the bones.

To reduce friction, each articulating surface of the bone is protected by a layer of smooth articular cartilage which is elastic and spreads the load between the bones. The joint is completely enclosed by a thing membrane, the synovial membrane, which in turn is enclosed by a fibrous capsule of tough elastic tissue called ligaments which help to keep the bones in place and prevent their dislocation. (Ligaments attach one bone to another bone as opposed to tendons which attach a muscle to a bone). Between the bones and enclosed by the synovial membrane is the synovial cavity, which contains a thick fluid secreted by the synovial membrane. This synovial fluid acts as a lubricant to reduce friction between the bones.

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