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Joints Studied in the Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
(Your instructor will indicate your exact assignment)

  1. Fibrous Joints - non-movable or very slightly movable
    1. Suture
      1. Between skull bones
        1. Coronal: frontal-parietal
        2. Lambdoidal: parietal-occipital
        3. Squamosal: parietal-temporal
        4. Sagittal: parietal-parietal
      2. Between other skull bones (this is a partial listing)
        1. Nasal-nasal
        2. Zygomatic-temporal
        3. Zygomatic-maxillary
    2. Syndesmosis
      1. Between the diaphysis of the tibia and fibula
      2. Between the epiphyses of the tibia and fibula
      3. Between the diaphysis of the radius and ulna
    3. Gomphosis: teeth in the maxilla and mandible. Also called peg suture.

  2. Cartilagenous Joints - slightly movable
    1. Symphysis - the bones have a thin layer of hyaline cartilage on their articulating surfaces and there is a fibrocartilagenous disc between the bones (the bones butt up against the cartilage disc).
      1. Pubic symphysis: between the two pubic bones
      2. Vertebral symphyses: 23 located between adjacent vertebrae
    2. Synchondrosis
      1. Epiphyseal plates between diaphyses and epiphyses of long bones of growing children. Eventually ossifies into a synostosis.
      2. Sterno-costal #1 - non-movable true cartilagenous joint.

  3. Synovial Joints - freely movable joints
    1. Saddle - between the trapezium and metacarpal of the thumb (bi-axial)
    2. Gliding (also called plane joints, multi-axial)
      1. Carpal-carpal
      2. Tarsal-tarsal
      3. Acromio-clavicular
      4. Sterno-costals 2 - 7 (note that this is the connection between the costal cartilage and the sternum).
      5. Rib-vertebral joints - note that each rib articulates at two points with each vertebra.
      6. Vertebral-vertebral joints. These joints are between the inferior articulating facets of one vertebra and the superior articulating facets of the adjacent (lower) vertebra.
      7. Sacro-iliac joint
      8. Patella-patellar surface of the femur (part of the knee joint).
      9. Carpal - metacarpal
      10. Tarsal - metatarsal
    3. Condyloid (biaxial)
      1. Distal radius articulating with the scaphoid and lunate wrist bones
      2. Knuckle joints - metacarpal - phalangeal
      3. Metatarsal - phalangeal joints
      4. Atlanto-occipital joint (as in shaking one's head "yes")
    4. Pivot (mono-axial)
      1. Head of the radius and the radial notch of the ulna (annular ligament of ulna)
      2. Atlas - Axis (as in shaking one's head "no")
      3. Head of the ulna with the ulnar notch of the radius
    5. Hinge (mono-axial)
      1. Elbow - coronoid process with coronoid fossa + head of the radius with the capitulum + ulna with the trochlea + olecranon process of ulna with the olecranon fossa of humerus + head of the radius into the radial fossa
      2. Knee - tibial condyles with the condyles of the femur
      3. Phalange - phalange joints in both fingers and toes
    6. Ball-in-Socket (multi-axial)
      1. Shoulder: head of humerus in the glenoid cavity of the scapula
      2. Hip: head of femur in acetabulum of the os coxa Click hip anatomy and then launch the movie
    7. Combination Hinge-Gliding
      1. Temporo-mandibular joint: condyles of mandible in mandibular fossae
      2. Ankle joint: tibial-talus
      3. Sterno-clavicular joint


Extra Credit: make a class presentation of the components of the shoulder joint. The following outline organizes the major should joint components: skeletal elements (e.g., bones and cartilage), bursae, ligaments and muscles. Your presentation will include both an anatomical view of the joint and the contribution to shoulder movement by the listed muscles.

  1. Shoulder Joint
    1. Bones and cartilage
      1. Humerus and scapula
      2. Head of humerus and glenoid fossa of scapula
      3. Glenoid labrum
      4. Note position of acromion process, coracoid process, scapular spine,
        clavicle, greater (lateral) and lesser (front) tubercle, intertubercular groove
    2. Bursae
      1. Subacromial bursa
      2. Subcoracoid bursa
      3. Subscapular bursa
      4. Subdeltoid bursa
    3. Ligaments
      1. Superior, middle and inferior glenohumeral ligaments
      2. Coracohumeral ligament
      3. Transverse humeral ligament
      4. Coracoacromial ligament
    4. Muscles
      1. Rotator Cuff : tendons of SITS muscles are the rotator cuff. 1-5 are rotator cuff muscles.
        1. Supraspinatus 
          origin - supraspinatus fossa 
          insertion - greater tubercle 
          action - abduct humerus
        2. Infraspinatus 
          origin - infraspinatus fossa
          insertion - greater tubercle; action: lat rot humerus
        3. Teres minor
          origin - axillary border of scapula
          insertion - greater tubercle
          action - lateral rotation humerus
        4. Subscapularis
          origin - Subscapular fossa
          insertion - lesser tubercle
          action - medial rotation humerus
        5. Biceps brachii
          origin - supraglenoid tubercle of scapula - long head
          coracoid process - short head
          insertion - radial tuberosity
          action - holds head of humerus in glenoid; flex elbow
      2. Deltoid 
        origin - (cas) - clavicle, acromion, scapular spine
        insertion - deltoid tuberosity of humerus
        action - abduct med rotate, lat rotate, flex and extend humerus (Ant, Post, Lat fibers?)
      3. Pectoralis major 
        origin - (ccs) - clavicle, costal cartilages, and sternum
        insertion - intertubercular groove of humerus
        action - adducts and med rot humerus; elevates ribs
      4. Latissimus dorsi - major muscle in climbing and strong swimming
        origin - T7-L5, ribs 9-12, iliac crest, inferior angle of scapula
        insertion - intertubercular groove of humerus 
        action - adducts and med rotation humerus
      5. Teres major
        origin - inferior angle and axillary border of scapula
        insertion - medial portion of proximal shaft of humerus
        action - adduct and med rot humerus