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04 May 2009

What is the hip joint ?

Your hip joint is designed for both mobility and stability. The hip joint allows your entire lower extremity to move in three planes of motion:
  • forward and backward
  • side to side
  • 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.

Your hip is comprised of four main components:

Bones of the hip

Your hip is a ball-and-socket joint uniting two separate bones – the thighbone, or femur, and the pelvis. Your pelvis features two cup-shaped depressions called sockets or acetabulum. One is on either side of the body. Your thighbone is the longest bone in the body and connects into the pelvis at your hip joint. The head of the thighbone is shaped like a ball and fits tightly into the socket, forming the ball-and-socket joint of the hip.

Cartilage of the hip

The socket is lined with cartilage, which cushions your bones during weight-bearing activities and allows the joint to rotate smoothly and freely in all directions with minimal friction.

Ligaments of the hip

The complex system of ligaments connects your thighbone to the pelvis and is essential for stability, keeping your hip from moving outside of its normal range of motion.

Muscles of the hip

The muscles of your hip joint have two jobs. One is to work together to provide power for the hip to move in all directions. The other is to stabilize the entire leg and foot.

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