Fibrous Joints

Define fibrous joint:

Fibrous joints are connections between bones that are held together by fibrous connective tissue that includes many collagen fibres.

The definition of a fibrous joint may be clearer with information about how fibrous joints compare with the other types of joints.

'Fibrous joints' is one of the 3 structural classes of joints:

Types and classes of joints in general are described on the pages about types of joints.

Types of fibrous joints

There are three types of fibrous joints in the human body :

  • Sutures (plural, the singular is suture)
  • Syndesmoses (plural, the singular is syndesmosis)
  • Gomphoses (plural, the singular is gomphosis)

Type of fibrous joint
Definition / Description
 
Examples
1.

Sutures
(plural, the singular is suture)

A suture is an immovable joint (synarthrosis) consisting of a thin layer of dense fibrous connective tissue (definition of a fibrous joint) attaching certain bones of the skull.
The irregular (roughly wave-shaped) interlocking edges of the cranial bones that are attached together by suture joints contribute to the strength of the joint

Sutures between the skull bones

There are many sutures in the skull, prominent examples incl.

  • the coronal suture
  • the sagittal suture
  • the lambdoid suture
  • the squamous suture
2.

Syndesmoses
(plural, the singular is syndesmosis)

A syndesmosis is an immovable joint (synarthrosis) at which the bones are attached by fibrous connective tissue (definition of a fibrous joint) which is neither a suture nor a gomphosis.

Distal articulation of tibia and fibula

The articulation between the bases (i.e. the "distal articulation", at he ankle-end) of the tibia and fibula bones.

3.

Gomphoses
(plural, the singular is gomphosis)

A gomphosis is an immovable joint (synarthrosis) in the shape of a socket at which one solid structure in an animal's body is firmly attached to another.

Articulations of teeth in jaw bones

The only gomphoses in the human body are the attachment of the roots of the teeth within the sockets of the alveolar processes of the lower-jaw (mandible) and upper-jaw (maxillae).

Examples of fibrous joints

Examples of fibrous joints include:

  • sutures between skull bones,
  • syndesmoses between certain long bones e.g. the tibia and fibula
  • gomphoses that attach the roots of human teeth to the upper- and lower- jaw bones.

For specific examples of different types of fibrous joints see the table above.

See also types of joints, cartilaginous joints and synovial joints.

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