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Overview

The equine skeletal system is comprised of more than 200 bones that interconnect with the assistance of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Where two or more bones meet is considered a joint.

Of the three different types of joints, the synovial joint is the most common type in the horse’s body. Synovial joints are freely movable, synovial fluid-filled anatomic structures that have a joint capsule surrounding the joint.

In contrast, a fibrous joint is an immovable joint that exists between two bones (such as the bones of the skull), and a cartilaginous joint holds bones together via fibrocartilaginous discs and ligaments that permit only a limited amount of movement.

Examples of fibrous joints include the joints between individual vertebrae and the pubic symphis (where the pubic bones join at the pelvic girdle).

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