Ball and socket joint in the human body

A Joint is a connection that is made between one bone with another bone. There are different types of joints on the basis of various factors. The Ball and socket joint is a type of joint. The ball and socket joint falls under the category of the synovial joint. It is also called the spheroidal joint.

By the formation of a joint, the skeleton system comes into function. Joints are arranged in such a way that they allow different degree angle movement of the body.

Before talking about the spheroidal joint. Let learn some key terms and word that will be frequently used in this piece.

Key terms

Some key terms you must know to know about the ball and socket joint.

  1. Joint:  connection of two or more bone who forms a skeleton and give functional meaning to every bone.
  2. Axis:  it is the main point through which something can make a turn in an arranged way.
  3. Articulating bone: a bone that takes part in the formation of a joint and articular surface means the surface where two bone forms the joint.
  4. Synovial fluid: it is the viscous lubricating liquid present in the synovial joint to make the movement of the joint easier.

Now, let’s discuss the spheroidal joint in this post. To know about ball and socket joint in detail. Firstly we will surface know about joints. As we all know that our human body is a framework or a skeleton. Skeleton is made of up 206 bones.

All bones give a framework to skeleton being connected to each other by forming the joints. Joints help the body in being connected and help in movement.

What is a ball and socket joint?

The ball and socket joint is one of the most important categories of a synovial joint. The spheroidal joint is one of the most special types of the synovial joint which gives the free movement having a unique structure. The spheroidal joint is justified by their name that this joint consists of the two structures they are  Ball and socket like structure.

The ball is the spherical head of the bone taking part in the formation of ball and socket joint. The femoral head and humeral head behaves the ball.

The socket is the deep hollow cup-like articulating structure present in this joint forming bone, Acetabulum and the Glenoid cavity of scapula behaves as the socket.

It is found in our body at the shoulder joint and hip joint. The shoulder joint is formed by the main articulation of glenoid cavity of the scapula which acts as the socket and head of the humerus, behaves as the ball and finally forms the glenohumeral joint.

Also at hip Joint, cup-like shaped Acetabulum acts as the socket which articulates with the round head of the femur which behaves as the ball and finally forms acetabulofemoral joint.

ball and socket joint
ball and socket joint

Do you know which is the largest ball and socket joint in the human body?

The hip joint is the largest spheroidal joint. It helps us to bear the weight of our body and it also helps in weight transmission.

Ball and socket joint can move in different axis so itis also called as the multiaxial joint.  The movement of this joint is due to fluid which lubricates the joint called synovial fluid.

The main function of the synovial fluid present in the joint is to provide frictionless movement to the joints and also to protect the articulating surface of the bones involved in the formation of the spheroidal joint.

The function of ball and socket joint

The function of ball and socket joint are given below:

  1. It gives frictionless movement to the Synovial joint due to the presence of the lubricating substance called synovial fluid on the articulating surface of the bones.
  2. It gives various types of movement to the human body under the action and help of the different muscles, tendons bursae and ligaments.

Ball and socket joint movement

Main movements provided by the ball and socket joint are various swinging and rotating movements of the arm and the hip such as abduction, adduction, flexion, extension, circumduction, medial rotation and lateral rotation all these movements helps in the swinging and the rotating of the shoulder and the hip joint.

Ball and socket joint is formed by the combination of two or more bones than there are chances of two or more bones than there are chances of fractures, dislocation or unbearable pain due to the defect in synovial fluid all these can cause damage to spheroidal joint

Osteoarthritis: It is long-lasting clinical Condition from the joint where pain and stiffness in the related bone joint are caused due to rubbing of cartilage and due to absence of the synovial fluid.

Rheumatoid arthritis: It is the long-lasting inflammatory clinical condition in which the joint can cause damage to the various body system, skin, blood vessels etc. Its main symptoms are bone erosion and deformity of the bone structure and joint.

Hip dysplasia:  It is a clinical condition where hip’s(socket) Acetabulum does not cover the head of femur( ball) portion of the femur due to which hip get dislocated fully or partially and mostly seen in the newborn babies.


Ball and socket joint is most mobile joint in human body. It allows us to stabilize our body weight.

As it is the most important joint of our body so there is a high risk for any dislocation or damage in these joints but due to progressing medical studies there is a substitute for these joint by the surgical method to restore the quality of life as normal individual lives by replacement of the affected spheroidal joint with the prosthetic one.

As the synovial joint is most important Joint we should take care of the joint by various physical exercises and various physical therapy.


World of Medical Saviours (WOMS) is a website formed by a group of medicos who are embarking to provide facts, tips and knowledge related to health and lifestyle. This website proves to be a great platform for the medical enthusiast and also for those medicos searching to outgrowth their knowledge about the medical field.

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