Fibrous joints


Fibrous connective tissue is the main source of binding when it comes to fibrous joints, as these joints were aptly named. The fibrous joints are typically those which are immovable, permit a mild range of motion, or are almost rigid. The fibrous joints are classified as sutures, syndesmoses, and gomphoses.


Sutures are the fibrous joints which are found in the skull, and are limited to the skull. The plates that are somewhat moveable at birth eventually fuse together to create the hard shell of the skull and are held in place by fibrous connective tissue. They are composed of a thin layer of irregular connective tissue that is quite dense and strong enough to bind the skull. Sutures form in the human body around the age of 18 months.

There are varying types of sutures, and a physical examination of the articulating edge of the bone plate can identify the suture. Interlocking saw pattern sutures are called serrate sutures which is the most common form of suture in the skull while a squamous suture is created when the bone overlaps the edge of the adjoining bone. Also called a lap suture, the squamous suture is exemplified between the parietal and temporal bones. The sagittal suture which connects and binds the two parietal bones is an excellent example of the serrate suture.A plane suture, or butt suture, the edges of the two adjoining bones are smooth and do not tend to overlap each other. The median palatine suture which bind the two maxillary and palatine plates to create the hard palate is an excellent example of this type of suture.


Fibrous joints
Image: Fibrous Joints


While syndesmoses are fibrous joints, they are bound together by collagenous fibers or alternatively interosseous ligaments. These ligaments are often described as sheets of fibrous tissue. Where the individual vertebra meet and join is a fine example of syndesmoses. These joints can also be found in various parts of the body where slight movement is acceptable, including the distal portions of the radius and ulna or the distal portions of the tibia and fibula. If these joints are rotated, the syndesmoses creates the ability to provide mild motion.


Gomphoses refer specifically to the fibrous joints which can be discerned between the teeth and the the bones which provide support for the jaw. Sometimes called the dentoalveolar joint, it can be detected where the root of the tooth has been attached to the tooth socket, or the periodontal ligament.
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