Slightly movable

1. Hinge joints allow only back and forth movement, (like the opening and closing of a door) such as bending and straightening, however at the same time the extent of movement is considerable (transverse axis). The two moving bones are connected with extremely strong ligaments along with tendons/muscles.


  • fingers (interphalangeal joints) – small joints in middle and end of fingers
  • elbow (humero-ulnar joint)
  • knee (tibio-femoral joint)
  • ankle (tibio-talar joint)

Note: the knee and ankle are less typical examples as they also allow a slight degree of rotation or side to side movement in certain positions of the limb.


2. Gliding joints occur where two bones with flat or only slightly rounded surfaces slide on each other, but are restricted to limited movement by ligaments. Gliding joints can be found between most of the bones in your foot, the eight small bones that form the wrist and the vertebrae of the spine.


3. Saddle joints permit side-to-side and back-and-forth movement. A saddle joint is more versatile than either a hinge joint or a gliding joint as the opposing surfaces are reciprocally concavo-convex. It allows movement in a number of directions. It allows flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and circumduction but no axial rotation. The saddle joint gives the human thumb the ability to cross over the palm of the hand.