Multiaxial joint; allows flexion/extension, abduction/adduction, circumduction, and medial/ lateral rotation movements.
Only 2 joints of the body: Shoulder and hip joints.
The joint with the greatest range of motion is the ball-and-socket joint. At these joints, the rounded head of one bone (the ball) fits into the concave articulation (the socket) of the adjacent bone (Picture 1 f). The hip joint and the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint are the only ball-and-socket joints of the body. At the hip joint, the head of the femur articulates with the acetabulum of the hip bone, and at the shoulder joint, the head of the humerus articulates with the glenoid cavity of the scapula.
Ball-and-socket joints are classified functionally as multiaxial joints. The femur and the humerus are able to move in both anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions and they can also rotate around their long axis. The shallow socket formed by the glenoid cavity allows the shoulder joint an extensive range of motion. In contrast, the deep socket of the acetabulum and the strong supporting ligaments of the hip joint serve to constrain movements of the femur, reflecting the need for stability and weight-bearing ability at the hip.