The hip joint is the largest weight-bearing joint in the human body. It is also referred to as a ball and socket joint and is surrounded by muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The thigh bone or femur and the pelvis join to form the hip joint.
Any injury or disease of the hip will adversely affect the joint's range of motion and ability to bear weight.
The hip joint is made up of the following:
- Bones and joints
- Ligaments of the joint capsule
- Muscles and tendons
- Nerves and blood vessels that supply the bones and muscles of the hip
Bones and joints
The hip joint is the junction where the hip joins the leg to the trunk of the body. It is comprised of two bones: the thigh bone or femur and the pelvis which is made up of three bones called ilium, ischium, and pubis. The ball of the hip joint is made by the femoral head while the socket is formed by the acetabulum. The Acetabulum is a deep, circular socket formed on the outer edge of the pelvis by the union of three bones: ilium, ischium and pubis. The lower part of the ilium is attached by the pubis while the ischium is considerably behind the pubis. The stability of the hip is provided by the joint capsule or acetabulum and the muscles and ligaments which surround and support the hip joint.
The head of the femur rotates and glides within the acetabulum. A fibrocartilaginous lining called the labrum is attached to the acetabulum and further increases the depth of the socket.
The femur or thigh bone is one of the longest bones in the human body. The upper part of the thigh bone consists of the femoral head, femoral neck, and greater and lesser trochanters. The head of the femur joins the pelvis (acetabulum) to form the hip joint. Next to the femoral neck, there are two protrusions known as greater and lesser trochanters which serve as sites of muscle attachment.
Articular cartilage is the thin, tough, flexible, and slippery surface lubricated by synovial fluid that covers the weight-bearing bones of the body. It enables smooth movements of the bones and reduces friction.
Ligaments are fibrous structures that connect bones to other bones. The hip joint is encircled with ligaments to provide stability to the hip by forming a dense and fibrous structure around the joint capsule. The ligaments adjoining the hip joint include:
- Iliofemoral ligament – This is a Y-shaped ligament that connects the pelvis to the femoral head at the front of the joint. It helps in limiting over-extension of the hip.
- Pubofemoral ligament – This is a triangular shaped ligament that extends between the upper portion of the pubis and the iliofemoral ligament. It attaches the pubis to the femoral head.
- Ischiofemoral ligament – This is a group of strong fibers that arise from the ischium behind the acetabulum and merge with the fibers of the joint capsule.
- Ligamentum teres – This is a small ligament that extends from the tip of the femoral head to the acetabulum. Although it has no role in hip movement, it does have a small artery within that supplies blood to a part of the femoral head.
- Acetabular labrum – The labrum is a fibrous cartilage ring which lines the acetabular socket. It deepens the cavity increasing the stability and strength of the hip joint.
Muscles and Tendons
A long tendon called the iliotibial band runs along the femur from the hip to the knee and serves as an attachment site for several hip muscles including the following:
- Gluteals – These are the muscles that form the buttocks. There are three muscles (gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus, and gluteus medius) that attach to the back of the pelvis and insert into the greater trochanter of the femur.
- Adductors – These muscles are in the thigh which help in adduction, the action of pulling the leg back towards the midline.
- Iliopsoas: This muscle is in front of the hip joint and provides flexion. It is a deep muscle that originates from the lower back and pelvis, and extends up to the inside surface of the upper part of the femur.
- Rectus femoris – This is the largest band of muscles located in front of the thigh. They also are hip flexors.
- Hamstring muscles- These begin at the bottom of the pelvis and run down the back of the thigh. Because they cross the back of the hip joint, they help in extension of the hip by pulling it backwards.
Nerves and arteries:
Nerves of the hip transfer signals from the brain to the muscles to aid in hip movement. They also carry the sensory signals such as touch, pain, and temperature back to the brain.
The main nerves in the hip region include the femoral nerve in the front of the femur and the sciatic nerve at the back. The hip is also supplied by a smaller nerve known as the obturator nerve.
In addition to these nerves, there are blood vessels that supply blood to the lower limbs. The femoral artery, one of the largest arteries in the body, arises deep in the pelvis and can be felt in front of the upper thigh.
All the anatomical parts of the hip work together to enable various movements. Hip movements include flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, circumduction, and hip rotation.
Osteoarthritis of the Hip
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease is the most common form of arthritis.Read more
Inflammatory Arthritis of the Hip
Inflammation of the joints is referred to as arthritis. The inflammation arises when the smooth covering...Read more
Transient Osteoporosis of the Hip
Transient osteoporosis of the hip is a rare condition that causes bone loss temporarily in the upper part...Read more
The hip is an important joint that helps us walk, run and jump. The ball-and-socket joint in the hip...Read more
Hip pain, one of the common symptoms patients complain of, may not always be felt precisely over the hip joint.Read more
A tear in the muscle fibers caused by either a fall or direct blow to the muscle, overstretching...Read more
Hip bursitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of a bursa in the hip. Bursae are fluid filled...Read more Launch Movie
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where there is too much friction in the hip joint...Read more Launch Movie
Avascular necrosis, also called osteonecrosis is a condition in which bone death occurs because of inadequate...Read more Launch Movie
The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint. The "ball" is the head of the femur, or thigh bone, and the "socket"...Read more
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The "ball" is the head of the femur, or thigh bone, and the "socket"...Read more
Gluteus Medius Tear
A gluteus medius tear is a condition characterized by severe strain on the gluteus medius muscle...Read more Launch Movie
Hip Labral Tear
A hip labral tear is an injury to the labrum, the cartilage that surrounds the outside rim of your hip joint socket.Read more Launch Movie
Chondral Lesions or Injuries
The hip joint is one of the largest weight-bearing joints in the body, formed by the thigh bone or femur...Read more Launch Movie
The hip plays an important role in supporting the upper body weight while standing, walking and running...Read more
Loose bodies are small loose fragments of cartilage or a bone that float around the joint.Read more
Hip Groin Disorders
Hip and groin disorders are more common in athletes, caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration motion.Read more
The hip joint is one of the most important and flexible joints in the human body which allows us to walk...Read more
Subtrochanteric Hip Fracture
A hip fracture is a break that occurs near the hip in the upper part of the femur or thigh bone.Read more Launch Movie
Hip Abductor Tears
Hip abductors are a major group of muscles found in the buttocks. It includes the gluteus maximus...Read more
Hip synovitis, also called transient hip synovitis or toxic synovitis is a condition in which there is inflammation...Read more Launch Movie
Irritable hip, also known as acute transient synovitis, is a common disorder of childhood characterized...Read more
Tendons are strong connective tissue structures that connect muscle to bone. Hip tendonitis is a condition...Read more
The hip joint consists of 2 bones, the hip bone and the leg bone. An injury or bruise to one of these bones...Read more
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) or Hip dysplasia is a condition which is seen in infants...Read more
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) or Perthes disease is a disorder of the hip that affects children...Read more
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is an unusual disorder of the hip where the ball at the upper end...Read more Launch Movie
Hip Injuries and Tears
Arthroscopy, also referred to as keyhole or minimally invasive surgery, is a procedure in which an arthroscope...Read more Launch Movie
Total Hip Replacement
Total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged cartilage and bone is removed...Read more Launch Movie
Anterior Hip Replacement
Total joint replacement surgery is one of the most advanced successful procedures in patients dealing...Read more Launch Movie
Revision Hip Replacement
Revision hip replacement is a complex surgical procedure in which all or part of a previously...Read more Launch Movie
Minimally Invasive Total Hip Replacement
The hip joint is one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints and is the point where the thigh bone...Read more Launch Movie
Outpatient Hip Replacement
Hip replacement surgery is the most common orthopaedic surgery performed. It involves...Read more
Posterior Hip Replacement
Posterior hip replacement is a minimally invasive hip surgery performed to replace the hip joint.Read more Launch Movie
Hip joint injections involve injecting medicine directly into the hip joint to diagnose the source of pain ...Read more Launch Movie
Physiotherapy or physical therapy is an exercise program that helps you to improve movement, relieve pain...Read more
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Our blood consists of a liquid component known as plasma. It also consists of three main solid components which include...Read more
Shock wave therapy is application of the sound waves to treat musculoskeletal conditions...Read more
Hip Preservation Surgery
The hip is a ball and socket joint comprising of the femur (thigh bone) and the pelvic bone.Read more
Hip implants are artificial devices that form the essential parts of the hip joint during a hip replacement surgery.Read more
Core Decompression for Avascular Necrosis of the Hip
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, where the head of the thigh bone (femur) articulates...Read more Launch Movie
The hip joint is one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints and is the point where the thigh bone...Read more
Hip FAO Surgery
Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a condition where the hip bones are abnormally shaped...Read more
The hip joint is one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints and is the point where the thigh bone...Read more
The hip joint is also known as a ball and socket joint, where the ball (femoral head) of the thigh bone...Read more
Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) is a metal-on-metal prosthesis used in hip resurfacing procedure.Read more Launch Movie
Pre-op and Post-Op Hip Guidelines
Planning for your hip surgery prepares you for the operation and helps to ensure a smooth surgery...Read more
Caregivers Guide for the Hip
When your friend or loved one has undergone a hip replacement surgery, as a caregiver, you will play...Read more
Hip Fracture Prevention
Hip fractures refer to any kind of breakage or damage in the thigh bone (femur). People over the age of 65...Read more
After Hip Replacement
Hip replacement is a surgery performed to replace parts of a diseased hip joint with an artificial prosthesis.Read more