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In cartilaginous joints the articulating bones are united by cartilage.

The two types of cartilaginous joints are synchondroses and symphyses.



SYNCHONDROSIS – the manubrium of the sternum with the first rib

Hyaline or fibrocartilage joins the bones at a synchondrosis.

They are often only temporary joints at the sites of bone growth.

The cartilage is eventually replaced by bone and the joints become synostotic.

We find them in the epiphyseal plates of bones and in the joint between the manubrium and the first rib.


(Greek sumphusis = to cause to grow togethe_r

LD-pubic symphysis

SYMPHYSIS – The two pubic bones joining anteriorly

In a symphysis the articular surfaces of the bones are covered by hyaline cartilage fused to an intervening pad or plate.

This tough connection is resistant to compression forces and is highly resilient.

Functionally they amphiarthrotic.

We find them in the pubic symphysis (anterior junction of the pubic bones) and in the intervertebral discs.

ring greenI am sure you can appreciate the shock absorber function of the intervertebral disks, cushioning the weight of the upper body as we are standing, sitting, walking, running.

We also find a major shock absorber in the anterior pelvis.

The weight of the upper body is only partially distributed onto the legs.

A fair bit of the downward force actually is redirected and pushes medially where the two pelvic bones (pubic bones) join at the front.

The pubic symphysis cushions that pressure.