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
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