Pivot joint

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Andrew Dixon et al.

Pivot joints, also known as rotary joints, are a type of synovial joint that permit axial rotation. The moving bone rotates within a ring formed by the concave surface of a second bone and an adjoining ligament.


Pivot joints allow rotation around a single axis only and therefore mechanically speaking they possess only one degree of freedom

  • axial rotation

The proximal and distal radioulnar joints pivot together such that the radius twists around the ulnar to allow pronation and supination of the forearm.

Anatomy: General

Article information

rID: 42732
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pivot joints
  • Rotary joint
  • Rotary joints
  • Trochoid joint
  • Trochoid joints

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Cases and figures

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