Hip Anatomy

Conditions

Procedures

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 thighbone 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 of the Hip

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 thighbone or femur and the pelvis which is made up of three bones called ilium, ischium, and 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.

The femur or thighbone is one of the longest bones in the human body. The upper part of the thighbone consists of the femoral head, femoral neck, and greater and lesser trochanters.

Articular Cartilage of the Hip Joint

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.

Nerves and Arteries of the Hip Joint

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.

Hip Joint Movements

All the anatomical parts of the hip work together to enable various movements. Hip movements include flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, circumduction, and hip rotation.