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Joints, also known as articulations, are a form of connection between bones stabilized by ligaments. The study of joints is called arthrology. They provide stability to the skeletal system, as well as allowing for specialized movement.
Joints can be classified into three broad types according to the tissue that binds them.
- synarthroses: allow very little, if any, movement
- amphiarthroses: allow a small amount of movement
- diarthroses: freely moving
Classification - size
For the purposes of describing arthropathy, the joints of the appendicular skeleton are traditionally divided into large and small joints. These have been formally defined by the American College of Rheumatology and European League Against Rheumatism in their 2010 rheumatoid arthritis guidelines as. 1:
- 1. Aletaha D, Neogi T, Silman AJ, Funovits J, Felson DT, Bingham CO, Birnbaum NS, Burmester GR, Bykerk VP, Cohen MD, Combe B, Costenbader KH, Dougados M, Emery P, Ferraccioli G, Hazes JM, Hobbs K, Huizinga TW, Kavanaugh A, Kay J, Kvien TK, Laing T, Mease P, Ménard HA, Moreland LW, Naden RL, Pincus T, Smolen JS, Stanislawska-Biernat E, Symmons D, Tak PP, Upchurch KS, Vencovsky J, Wolfe F, Hawker G. 2010 rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria: an American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism collaborative initiative. (2010) Annals of the rheumatic diseases. 69 (9): 1580-8. doi:10.1136/ard.2010.138461 - Pubmed