Hip Anatomy



The hip has bones that are connected together in a true ball and socket fashion. The femur is the thighbone, which has a ball-shaped top called the femoral head. This ball fits into the socket on the side of the pelvis, which is known as the acetabulum.
The femoral head is attached to the rest of the femur by a short section of bone known as the femoral neck. Next to the femoral neck is a large bump that juts outward from the top of the femur. This is the greater trochanter. This is the bump you can feel along the side of your hip and it is where the muscles are connected.



There are three key ligaments that attach the bones to the pelvis. These are the: iliofemoral, ischiofemoral and pubofemoral ligaments. All three work together to strengthen the hip and prevent the joint from having too much movement.
The iliofemoral ligament is the strongest ligament in the body. It prevents the trunk of the body from falling over backwards without the need to use muscles. As you sit, it relaxes, allowing the pelvis to tilt backward into the sitting position.
The other two ligaments restrict motion. The ischiofemoral ligament prevents medial motion while the pubofemoral ligament restricts abduction in the hip joint.



The fibrous capsule of the hip joint allows the hip to have the second largest range of movement in the body and yet still support the weight of the body, arms and head. The capsule keeps the femoral head in the socket, yet is loose enough to allow full motion while still being extremely strong. The capsule attaches to the hipbone on the outside of the acetabular lip.



Tendons connect the muscles to the bones. In the hip, there are four groups of tendons and they are grouped according to their orientation around the hip joint. These tendons are: the gluteal group, the lateral rotator group, the adductor group and the iliosoas group.