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By definition, a joint is a junction of two or more bones and they can be classified into three types depending on the degree of movement. Fibrous joints are immovable and interlocking bones such as the plates in the skull. Cartilaginous joints have slightly movable bones bought together by ligaments such as the vertebrae. Synovial joints are freely movable, they are the most common type having the characteristics of bone ends that are covered with hyaline cartilage. The synovial joint is stabilised by ligaments, it is surrounded by a fibrous capsule. This capsule is lined but the synovial membrane that secretes synovial fluid as lubrication.

Synovial joints can be further broken down into six subgroups, gliding joints, pivot joints, saddle joints, ball and socket joint, ellipsoid joints and hinge joints.

Any joint can be damaged or fractured on the bone or strains and sprains on the surrounding soft tissue causing pain and inflammation.