Ball and socket joint

Last revised by Yuranga Weerakkody on 22 May 2017

Ball and socket joints are a type of synovial joint where the spheroid articular surface of one bone sits within a cup-like depression of another bone.


The ball and socket configuration allows for movement with 3 degrees of freedom, which is more than any other type of synovial joint. The depth of the cup and any additional fibrocartilaginous labrum is the major limitation to the extent of motion allowed in any direction.

  • flexion / extension
  • abduction / adduction
  • rotation
  • circumduction

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