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Anatomy of the Hip

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint where the head of the femur articulates with the cuplike acetabulum of the pelvic bone. The acetabulum fits tightly around the head of the femur. The ball is normally held in the socket by very powerful ligaments that form a complete sleeve around the joint (the joint capsule). The capsule has a delicate lining (the synovium). The head of the femur is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage which is a fairly soft, white substance. The socket is also lined with cartilage. This cartilage cushions the joint, and allows the bones to move on each other with very little friction. Ligaments and muscles surrounding the joint provide motion and stability.

hip joint

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted March 2011

Contact Information

Joint Replacement and Reconstruction
Carl J. Shapiro Department of Orthopaedics
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-3940

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