Joints, also called articulations or articular surfaces, are points at which ligaments or other tissues connect adjacent bones. Joints permit movement and stability, and can be classified based on their structure or function.
Structural joint classifications are based on the material that makes up the joint as well as whether or not the joint contains a space between the bones. Joints are structurally classified as fibrous, cartilaginous, or synovial. The bones of a fibrous joint are connected by fibrous tissue and have no space, or cavity, between them. Thus, fibrous joints cannot move. Although the skull appears to be a single large bone, it includes several bones that are connected by fibrous joints called sutures. Syndesmoses, the second type of fibrous joint found in the fibula (calf bone), allow more movement than sutures. The third type of fibrous joint, gomphoses, connect teeth to their sockets. The bones of cartilaginous joints are connected by cartilage and permit minimal movement. The two types of cartilaginous joints, synchondroses and symphyses, differ in the kind of cartilage that connects the bones (hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage, respectively). The epiphyseal plates in the bones of growing children contain synchondroses. Symphyses connect vertebrae as well as the pubic bones. Synovial joints, found in the elbows…
Core: Musculoskeletal System
The respiratory system is comprised of the organs that enable breathing. Air enters the nostrils and mouth, followed by the pharynx (throat) and larynx (voice box), which lead to the trachea (windpipe). In the thoracic cavity, the trachea splits into two bronchi that allow air to enter the lungs. The bronchi split into progressively smaller bronchioles and terminate in small groups of tiny sacs in the lungs called alveoli, where gas exchange occurs. Air is cleansed in the nasal cavity, but anything that passes those defenses or enters through the mouth can be caught in the lungs. The lungs produce mucus that traps foreign particles, and the bronchi and bronchioles are lined with cilia that beat mucus and debris upward toward the throat for disposal (i.e., swallowing). Smoking damages the cilia, making removal of the excess mucus produced by smoking more difficult. This is one of the reasons smokers are more susceptible to respiratory infections. The trachea is a 10-12 cm long tube located in front of the esophagus that allows air to enter and exit the lungs. Its C-shaped hyaline cartilage keeps the trachea open. When the smooth muscle of the trachea contracts, the diameter of the trachea decreases and exhaled air is pushed out with great force (e.g., coughing). In cases of damage to the throat or mouth that blocks breathing, a tracheostomy, a surgica…
Core: Circulatory and Pulmonary Systems
1Orthopaedic Surgery Department, Stanford University, 2Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University, 3Bioengineering Department, Stanford University