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Mid-semester essay exam notes - Synovial joint

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C5.13 Synovial Joint The synovial joint is the most common and most moveable type of joint in the body. The majority of articulations between bones are synovial joints. They are characterized by the presence of a closed cavity between the bones: the synovial cavity. The articulating surfaces of the bones are covered by a thin layer of very smooth hyaline cartilage (articular cartilage) and lubricated by the synovial fluid, which is secreted by the synovial membrane, which lines the cavity. This fluid is highly viscous and slippery and reduces friction. As with most other joints, synovial joints achieve movement at the point of contact of the articulating bones. Endochondral ossification is responsible for the initial bone development from cartilage in utero and infants and the longitudinal growth of long bones in the epiphyseal plate. Bones first form as hyaline cartilage. The cartilage then gradually changes into bone tissue – a process called ossification, which begins near the middle of the diaphysis in an area called the primary ossification center. Later the bone begins to ossify in the epiphysis – these areas are called the secondary ossification centers. As long as growth is occurring, a band of cartilage, known as the epiphyseal growth plate, remains between the diaphysis and the epiphysis. Bones increase in length as these cartilage cells continue to reproduce and ossify. Cartilage cells form osteoblasts, which produces bone matrix and once the cell is enclosed in bone matrix, it is considered to be a mature bone cell (osteocyte). Growth in thickness
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