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Your hip anatomy

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
  • Cartilage
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles

Hip anatomy

Hip Bones

The hip is actually a ball and socket joint, uniting two separate bones, the femur (thigh bone) with the pelvis. The pelvis features two cup-shaded depressions called the acetabulum, one on either side of the body. The femur is the longest bone in the body and connects to the pelvis at the hip joint. The head of the femur, shaped like a ball, fits tightly into the acetabulum, forming the ball and socket joint of the hip, allowing the leg to move forward and backward, side to side, and rotate
right and left.

Hip Cartilage

The acetabulum is lined with cartilage, which cushions the bones during weightbearing activities and allows the joint to rotate smoothly and freely in all planes of
movement with minimal friction.

Hip Ligaments

The complex system of ligaments that connect the femur to the pelvis are essential for stability, keeping the hip from moving outside of its normal planes of movement.

Hip Muscles

The muscles of the hip joint have dual responsibilities working together to provide the power for the hip to move in all directions, as well as to stabilize the entire lower extremity during standing, walking, or other weight-bearing activities.


The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.The information on this site does not replace your doctor's specific instructions.