Medical Specialties: Emergency medicine, Orthopedics, Physical medicine & rehab

Clinical Definition

A joint is the point of articulation between two or more rigid skeletal components, which usually allows movement. Joints consist of the synovial membrane, fluid and fibrous tissue. Joints are classified functionally and structurally, and provide mechanical support. Synovial joints, which move freely, are the most common joint in the human body.

In Our Own Words

A joint is the point of connection between bones. Some joints, such as sutures in the skull, do not move and are called fixed joints. Although not all joints are mobile, most allow movement. 


Joints are made up of different parts including cartilage, ligaments and tendons. A thin tissue, called the synovial membrane, surrounds the joints. It produces fluid, which lubricates the joints and makes movement smoother. There are different types of joints in the body, with the most common being the synovial joint. 

Relevant Conditions
Common Types
  • Synovial joint
  • Ball and socket joint
  • Hinge joints
Share this article
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Anatomy of a Joint." Accessed November 2013.
  • Tortora, Gerald, Derrickson, Bryan. "Principals of Anatomy and Physiology." Wiley 2011. Accessed November 2013.
  • University of Maryland Medical Center. "Structure of a Joint." Accessed November 2013.
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