Hip Anatomy

Hip anatomyYour hip joint is designed for both mobility and stability. The hip joint allows your entire lower extremity to move in three planes of motion: 1. forward and backward, 2. side to side, 3. rotating right and left. Your hip joint provides vital shock absorption to the torso and upper body as well as stability during standing and other weight-bearing activities.

The hip has four main components: Bones, Cartilage, Ligaments & Muscles.

Bones – The hip is actually a ball and socket joint, uniting two separate bones, the femur (thigh bone) with the pelvis. The pelvis features two cup-shaded depressions called the acetabulum, one on either side of the body. The femur is the longest bone in the body and connects to the pelvis at the hip joint. The head of the femur, shaped like a ball, fits tightly into the acetabulum, forming the ball and socket joint of the hip, allowing the leg to move forward and backward, side to side, and rotate right and left.

Cartilage – The acetabulum is lined with cartilage, which cushions the bones during weightbearing activities and allows the joint to rotate smoothly and freely in all planes of movement with minimal friction.

Ligaments – he complex system of ligaments that connect the femur to the pelvis are essential for stability, keeping the hip from moving outside of its normal planes of movement.

Muscles – The muscles of the hip joint have dual responsibilities working together to provide the power for the hip to move in all directions, as well as to stabilize the entire lower extremity during standing, walking, or other weight-bearing activities.

Osteoarthritis, (OA), is the most common form of Hip Pain. It’s a progressive, degenerative disease that most often occurs in middle-aged and older adults. However, it can afflict anyone of any age, especially if the person’s hip joint is damaged from a previous fracture or childhood disorder. Osteoarthritis usually affects the large weight-bearing joints of your lower extremities, including hips and knees. But it may also cause pain in your spine, neck and hands.