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PCAT Biological Processes – Joints

Which of the following best describes the elbow joint in a human?

A) Gliding joint
B) Ball and socket joint
C) Hinge joint
D) Saddle joint


This question is testing your understanding of the basic types of joints in the human body. Each type of joint allows a different type of movement. The elbow contains a hinge joint allowing for movement in only one plane, like the opening and closing of a door. Thus, C is the correct answer. Gliding joints are common at the junction between flat bones and allow the bones to slide past one another. An example would be the synovial joints between vertebrae in the spinal column. A ball and socket joint permits the greatest range of motion and allows for 360of rotation in most cases. The shoulder and hip are examples of ball and socket joints. A saddle joint is formed between reciprocal concave and convex bones. An example is the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb.

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