• Forms the connection between the lower limb
and the pelvic girdle.
• It is a synovial articulation between the head
of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvic
• The joint is a multi-axial ball and socket joint
designed for stability and weightbearing at the
expense of mobility.
• The articular surfaces of the hip joint are:
• The spherical head of the femur; and
• The lunate surface of the acetabulum of the
• The lunate surface is covered by hyaline
cartilage and is broadest superiorly.
• Except for the fovea, the head of the femur is
also covered by hyaline cartilage.
• The rim of the acetabulum is raised slightly by
a fibrocartilaginous collar (the acetabular
• Inferiorly, the labrum bridges across the
acetabular notch as the transverse acetabular
ligament and converts the notch into a
• Attached to the hip joint is a strong, loose
fibrous capsule which permits free movement
of the hip joint;
• It attaches proximally to the acetabulum and
transverse acetabular ligament.
• Some parts of the fibrous capsule are thicker
than others and are called ligaments--the
• The hip joint is further strengthened by the
presence of strong ligaments.
• The ligaments of the hip joint include;
• Ischio-femoral, ilio-femoral, pubo-femoral and
the transverse acetabular ligamament
(ligament of the head of femur).
• The ilio-femoral ligament;
• Is anterior to the hip joint and is triangularly
• Its apex is attached to the ilium between the
anterior inferior iliac spine and the margin of the
acetabulum and its base is attached along the
intertrochanteric line of the femur.
• Parts of the ligament attached above and below
the intertrochanteric line are thicker than that
attached to the central part of the line.
• This results in the ligament having a Y
• The pubofemoral ligament;
• Is anteroinferior to the hip joint.
• It is also triangular in shape, with its base
attached medially to the ilio-pubic eminence,
adjacent bone, and obturator membrane.
• Laterally, it blends with the fibrous membrane
and with the deep surface of the ilio-femoral
• The ischiofemoral ligament;
• Reinforces the posterior aspect of the fibrous
• It is attached medially to the ischium, just
posteroinferior to the acetabulum, and
laterally to the greater trochanter deep to the
Ligament of the head of femur
• The ligament of the head of the femur;
• Is a flat band of delicate connective tissue that
attaches at one end to the fovea on the head
of the femur and at the other end to the
acetabular fossa, transverse acetabular
ligament, and margins of the acetabular
• It carries a small branch of the obturator
artery, which contributes to the blood supply
of the head of the femur.
• The fibers of all three ligaments are oriented
in a spiral fashion around the hip joint so that
they become taut when the joint is extended.
• This stabilizes the joint and reduces the
amount of muscle energy required to maintain
a standing position.
• Femoral nerve or its muscular branches
• Accessory obturator nerve, if present (anteriorly)
• Obturator nerve (anterior division) (inferiorly)
• Superior gluteal nerve (superiorly and posteriorly)
• Nerve to quadratus femoris (posteriorly).
• Pain in the hip may be misleading because pain
can be referred from the vertebral column.
• Hip movements are flexionextension, abduction-adduction, mediallateral rotation, and circumduction.
• Movements of the trunk at the hip joints are
also important, such as those occurring when
a person lifts the trunk from the supine
position during sit-ups.
• Flexion;•Iliopsoas (the strongest
flexor), sartorius, tensor of fascia lata, rectus
femoris, pectineus, adductor longus, adductor
brevis, adductor magnus (anterior part), and
• Extension; Hamstrings (semitendinosus,
semimembranosus, and long head of biceps
femoris), adductor magnus--posterior part, and
• The gluteus maximus is relatively inactive from
the straight (standing) position to the fully
extended position unless forceful extension is
• It acts mostly from the fully flexed to the straight
position, as in climbing stairs or in rising from a
• Abduction; Gluteus medius and minimus, and
tensor of fascia lata.
• Adduction; Adductor longus, adductor
brevis, adductor magnus, gracilis, pectineus, and
Medial rotators; anterior fibers of gluteus
medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor of fascia
Lateral rotators; obturator externus, obturator
internus, gemelli, piriformis, quadratus
femoris, and gluteus maximus.
• Vascular supply to the hip joint is
predominantly through branches of the
obturator artery, medial and lateral
circumflex femoral arteries, superior and
inferior gluteal arteries, and first perforating
branch of the deep artery of the thigh.
• The articular branches of these vessels form a
network around the joint.
Relations of the Hip Joint
Structures related to the hip joint are:
• Anteriorly; Pectineus, iliopsoas, subtendinous
iliac bursa, and femoral artery and nerve.
• Laterally; Rectus femoris anterior to
iliofemoral ligament, iliotibial tract, and
• Inferiorly; Obturator externus crosses inferior
to the femoral head and runs posterior to the
• Superiorly; Gluteus minimus, gluteus
medius, and overlying gluteus maximus.
• Posteriorly; Hriformis, obturator
externus, obturator internus and
gemelli, superior border of quadratus
femoris, and sciatic nerve.