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1. The joint between adjacent vertebrae that includes an invertebral disc is classified as which type of joint?
2. Which of these joints is classified as a synarthrosis?
3. Which of these joints is classified as a biaxial diarthrosis?
4. Synovial joints ________.
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1. Define how joints are classified based on function. Describe and give an example for each functional type of joint.
Solution: Functional classification of joints is based on the degree of mobility exhibited by the joint. A synarthrosis is an immobile or nearly immobile joint. An example is the manubriosternal joint or the joints between the skull bones surrounding the brain. An amphiarthrosis is a slightly moveable joint, such as the pubic symphysis or an intervertebral cartilaginous joint. A diarthrosis is a freely moveable joint. These are subdivided into three categories. A uniaxial diarthrosis allows movement within a single anatomical plane or axis of motion. The elbow joint is an example. A biaxial diarthrosis, such as the metacarpophalangeal joint, allows for movement along two planes or axes. The hip and shoulder joints are examples of a multiaxial diarthrosis. These allow movements along three planes or axes.
2. Explain the reasons for why joints differ in their degree of mobility.
Solution: The functional needs of joints vary and thus joints differ in their degree of mobility. A synarthrosis, which is an immobile joint, serves to strongly connect bones thus protecting internal organs such as the heart or brain. A slightly moveable amphiarthrosis provides for small movements, which in the vertebral column can add together to yield a much larger overall movement. The freedom of movement provided by a diarthrosis can allow for large movements, such as is seen with most joints of the limbs.
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