The Hip Joint

The Hip Joint (Articulatio Coxae)

Hip Joint Function

The hip joint is designed to withstand repeated motion. It is a ball-and-socket joint, the body’s largest. The hip is the joint between the femur and acetabulum of the pelvis.


The cup like acetabulum forms at the union of three pelvic bones (ilium, pubis and ischium).

The hip forms the primary connection between the longer limb and the axial skeleton of the trunk. Both the femur and acetabulum joint surfaces are covered with articular cartilage.

The hip has several other important structures:

- The bursa which is a small sac of synovial fluid that cushions and protects the joint

- The hip joint is reinforced by four ligaments, three of which are extracapsular and one intracapsular

- The hip muscles which control three pairs of principal movement directions


Common Injuries of the Hip Joint

Osteoarthritis – degeneration of cartilage causing pain and inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune condition that causes arthritis

Hip fracture – due to a fall or injury involving your leg

Dysplasia – occurs in a newborn baby that has a hip that easily dislocates

Femoroacetabular impingement – caused by a lack of fit of the femur to the acetabulum that leads to early degenerative changes

Hip labral tears – commonly occurring in athletes, the cartilage protecting the joint tears

Hip Treatments

Pain medication – OTC and prescription medication

Ice therapy – apply ice and rest the affected joints

Cortisone injections – injecting steroids to reduce pain

Physical therapy – exercising the joint with low-impact exercises, stretching and resistance training such as swimming

Hip surgery – replace the hip