Hip Joint Anatomy

Your hip joint is the most flexible joint in your body, and it allows you the greatest amount of movement. It gives you the ability to walk, run, and jump, and it bears your body’s weight.

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint formed between the pelvis and the femur (thigh bone). The rounded head of the femur forms the ball of the joint, while a round, cup-shaped structure on the pelvis forms the socket. A thick layer of cartilage lines both the ball and socket of the hip joint and allows the bones to move smoothly against each other. Surrounding the hip joint are many tough ligaments that keep it in place.

Chronic hip pain caused by injury or disease, like arthritis, may be relieved by replacing the worn joint with an artificial one, known as a prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to move like a normal, healthy joint. Be sure to ask a member of your orthopedic care team if you have any questions.