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What range of movement is allowed by a hinge joint?

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user7515511 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 16, 2013 at 8:03 PM via web

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What range of movement is allowed by a hinge joint?

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 17, 2013 at 12:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Hinge joints allow bones to move in one plane in relationship to each other.

Outside of the human body, think of a door. As it hangs on the hinges holding it in place, it can only move back and forth. It is always in the same alignment with the door frame, it is always at right angles with the floor, it is always in the same vertical orientation as the wall.

In the human body, the joints in fingers, toes, elbows, and knees are hinge joints. The bones in any of those joints move along one plane in relationship to each other. Unlike the door example, however, the orientation of the bone closest to the body trunk may change orientation and make it appear that the joint is moving in other directions. You can rotate the position of your upper arm, which allows your elbow joint to move your lower arm into different positions relation to your trunk, but the lower arm is moving in the same plane in relation to the upper arm.

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