Dictionary > Symphysis


noun, plural: symphyses
(1) A cartilaginous joint between the articulating bones adjoined by fibrocartilage, with or without a synovial membrane, and provides slight movement.
(2) A union or commissure of two structures.
(3) A line or junction discernable on x-ray.
(4) A pathological adhesion.
Symphyses are secondary cartilaginous joints that contain fibrocartilage, which remains unossified throughout life. Examples are the pubic symphysis and the symphysis of the lower jaw.
Word origin: NL, fr. Gr, to make to grow together; with – to cause to grow; to grow.

Related forms: symphyseal or symphysial (adjective).

Synonym: secondary cartilaginous joint.

Compare: synchondrosis.

See also: joint, articulation, cartilage.

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