What are the types of joint?

There are six different types of moving joint in the body. Each of them allows a different range of movements. The arms and hands contain examples of all of these types of joint, but they are found in other parts of the body, too.

Plane joint

Also called a gliding joint, this is where two flat-ended bones slide against each other. This type of joint is found in the ankles and wrists.

Ball and socket

The ball-shaped head of one bone fit into the cup shape of another bone. This type of joint allows for a wide range of movement, and is found in the shoulder and the hip.

Pivot joint

This allows one bone to swivel around another. In the forearm, the ulna forms a pivot with the radius just below the elbow, allowing the arm to twist palm-up or palm-down.

Hinge joint

Just as a door hinge only allows a door to open or close, the hinge joint at the elbow lets the arm bend and straighten. The knee is also a hinge joint.

Saddle joint

This is found at the base of the thumb where two U-shaped bones meet, allowing the thumb to rotate in two directions. This enables the thumb to touch each fingertip, as well as sweep across the palm of the hand.

Condyloid joint

This joint is found in the knuckles and toes. An oval, rounded bone fits into am oval, cup-shaped bone. This enables side-to-side and up-and-down movement, so you can spread your fingers apart and move them up and down.


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