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articular capsule

two layers that surround and enclose a synovial joint. The outer layer is spongy fibrous connective tissue, and the inner layer is the synovial membrane.

articular cartilage

hyaline cartilage that protects the surface of bones found in synovial joints

articular disc

small, oval fibrocartilage structure that divides the synovial joint cavity


synovial fluid–filled thin connective tissue sac often associated with synovial joints that serves to reduce friction between adjacent structures, such as ligaments and bones

cartilaginous joint

joint where bones are separated by cartilage

effort arm

distance between the point of muscular force on a bone and the fulcrum


strong, flexible cartilage containing thick, fibrous collagen

fibrous joint

joints that occur where bones are attached by the collagen fibers of a fibrous connective tissue


point a bar pivots around in a lever system. Physiologically, this occurs in the synovial joints of the body.


narrow fibrous peg-and-socket joint found between the roots of teeth and the sockets in the jawbones

hyaline cartilage

firm, translucent cartilage found in joints


location where two bones meet

joint cavity

fluid-filled enclosed cavity found at synovial joints


simple machine that operates by pivoting around a fixed point, or fulcrum


tough, fibrous band of connective tissue that holds bones together at joints

mechanical advantage

when the effort arm is longer than the load arm, allowing levers to use little force to move a large load


large, C-shaped fibrocartilage structure that partly divides a synovial joint cavity

resistance arm

distance between the resistance (or load) a muscle is working against and the fulcrum (or joint) in a lever system


type of fibrous joint connecting bones in the skull

symphysis joint

slightly movable and permanent cartilaginous joint where the bones are joined by fibrocartilage

synchondrosis joint

cartilaginous joint where bones are joined together by hyaline cartilage

syndesmosis joint

fibrous joint between bones that are held together by a ligament


bony junction that forms when connective tissue between two bones is replaced with bone tissue, fusing the two bones into one

synovial fluid

lubricating fluid that fills synovial joint cavities

synovial joint

movable joint where two adjacent bones are separated by an enclosed fluid-filled cavity


dense form of connective tissue that attaches muscles to bones