synovial joint is qualified by the existence of a fluid-filled joint cavity contained within a fibrous capsule.

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It is the most common kind of joint discovered in the human being body, and also contains numerous structures which are not seen in fibrous or cartilaginous joints.

In this post we candlestick look at the anatomy the a synovial joint – the share capsule, neurovascular structures and also clinical correlations.

Key frameworks of a Synovial Joint

The three main attributes of a synovial joint are: (i) articular capsule, (ii) articular cartilage, (iii) synovial fluid.

Articular Capsule

The articular capsule surrounding the joint and is constant with the periosteum of articulating bones.

It consists of 2 layers:

Fibrous class (outer) – is composed of white fibrous tissue, known the capsular ligament. It holds with each other the articulating bones and supports the basic synovium.Synovial layer (inner) – a extremely vascularised class of serous connective tissue. The absorbs and also secretes synovial fluid, and also is responsible for the mediation the nutrient exchange between blood and also joint. Likewise known as the synovium.

Fig 1 – The straightforward structures that a synovial joint.

Articular Cartilage

The articulating surfaces the a synovial joint (i.e. The surfaces the directly call each other as the skeletal move) space covered by a slim layer the hyaline cartilage.

The articular cartilage has two key roles: (i) minimising friction upon share movement, and (ii) taking in shock.

Synovial Fluid

The synovial fluid is situated within the joint cavity that a synovial joint. It has actually three major functions:

LubricationNutrient distributionShock absorption.

Articular cartilage is relatively avascular, and is reliant ~ above the passive diffusion of nutrients from the synovial fluid.

Accessory frameworks of a Synovial Joint

Accessory Ligaments

The accessory ligaments are separate ligaments or parts of the joint capsule.

They consists of bundles of dense constant connective tissue, which is highly adapted for resisting strain. This resists any extreme motions that may damage the joint.


Fig 2 – The extracapsular ligaments that the hip joint; ileofemoral, pubofemoral and also ischiofemoral ligaments.


A bursa is a tiny sac inside wall by synovial membrane, and filled with synovial fluid.

Bursae are situated at crucial points of friction in a joint. They afford joints greater freedom of movement, whilst protecting the articular surfaces from friction-induced degeneration

They can end up being inflamed adhering to infection or irritation by over-use the the joint (bursitis).


Synovial joints have actually a wealthy supply native articular nerves.

The innervation that a joint deserve to be identified using Hilton’s Law‘the nerves offering a joint likewise supply the muscles moving the joint and the skin spanning their distal attachments.’

Articular nerves transmit afferent impulses, including proprioceptive (joint position) and nociceptive (pain) sensation


Arterial supply to synovial joints is via articular arteries, i m sorry arise native the vessels roughly the joint. The articular arteries are located within the joint capsule, largely in the synovial membrane.

A typical feature that the articular arterial it is provided is constant anastomoses (communications) in order come ensure a blood it is provided to and throughout the joint regardless that its position. In practice this usually method arteries are above and below a joint, curving round every side that it and also joining via small connecting vessels.

The articular veins accompany the articular arteries and also are also found in the synovial membrane.

Clinical Relevance: Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the many common form of joint inflammation (arthritis). It stems from heavy use the articular joints end the food of countless years, i beg your pardon can result in the wearing far of articular cartilage, and also often the erosion that the underlying articulating surfaces of bones together well.

The changes which occur are irreversible and also degenerative. This outcomes in the diminished effectiveness of articular cartilage as a shock absorber and also lubricated surface, and the roughened edge causing more damage.

As a an outcome of this degeneration, repetitive friction can reason symptoms the joint pain, stiffness and discomfort. This condition usually influence joints that support complete body weight, such together the hips and also the knees.

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Arthritis can also come around through various other causes, including; (i) as a result of infection, as result of the ease v which blood (and any associated bacteria) can get in the joint cavity via the synovial membrane; (ii) because of autoinflammatory causes, as in rheumatoid arthritis, or; (iii) together a an outcome of infection yet not including infection the the joint itself, together in reactive arthritis.