We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Condyloid Joint?

By Shelby Miller
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A condyloid joint is one of six types of synovial joints found in the human body. Like all such joints, it is characterized by the presence of a fluid-containing joint capsule, which lubricates the surfaces of adjacent bones in the joint. The condyloid joint, however, is distinguished from the other kinds of synovial joints by the distinctive oval shape of the bones involved. Both the articular surface of the bone inserting into the joint — a surface known as a condyle — and the cavity receiving the bone are elliptical in shape.

The shape of this joint permits movement in two planes, allowing flexion and extension in one plane and adduction and abduction in another. These movements can be demonstrated by examining the wrist joint, a prime example of condyloid structure. In the wrist, or radiocarpal, joint, the condyle is located on the end of the radius bone of the forearm, and it articulates with the cavities of the adjacent carpus bones of the wrist. Bending the wrist forward toward the palm and backward toward the back of the hand represents flexion and extension, respectively, while tilting the wrist joint from side to side, as in waving one’s hand, represents abduction when tilting in the direction of the thumb and adduction when tilting in the direction of the little finger. Additionally, the wrist joint is capable of circumduction, or circling movement, through these two planes.

Another place in the body where the condyloid joint is found is in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of the hand, between the metacarpal bones in the palm and the phalangeal bones of the fingers. In this case, the articulating surfaces in the joint include the condyle of the metatarsal and the cavity of the phalange. Like the wrist joint, the MCP joints are capable of flexion, as in creating a fist, extension, as in opening the hand, abduction/adduction, as in wagging a finger from side to side, and circumduction, as in circling a finger. An exception is the MCP joint of the thumb, which has such limited movement beyond flexion and extension that it is generally considered to be a ginglymoid, or hinge, joint.

The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints of the foot are similar to the MCP joints. Located between the metatarsal bones of the foot and the phalangeal bones of the toes, with the elliptical condyle of the metatarsal inserting into the cavity of the phalange, the MTPs have more limited range of motion than the MCPs but perform most of the same movements. These joints permit flexion, or pointing of the toes, extension, or lifting of the toes, and abduction/abduction, or wagging the toes from side to side.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By jerry70 — On Jan 25, 2011

You would be surprised how many things can go wrong with your condyloid joints. Conditions that affect the condyloid joints include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, dislocations, infection and inflammation. Treatment depends on which joint or joints are affected, and the severity of the condition. They can range from prescription medications to more aggressive treatment such as physical therapy.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.