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Hip joint

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Identify the articulating surfaces of the hip joint.
  2. Name the main ligaments that reinforce the hip joint.
  3. List the movements performed at the hip joint.

Watch videos

The hip joint is a large articulation between the head of the femur and acetabulum of the hip bone. It is the most proximal joint of the free lower limb and is classified as a ball-and-socket type of synovial joint capable of a wide range of movements. Compared to the shoulder joint, the hip joint sacrifices a part of its mobility for stability, since it needs to bear the entire weight of the upper body while standing. Hence, the hip joint is the most stable joint in the body.

Watch the following video to find out more about the hip joint, its articulations, neurovascular supply and movements.

To learn more details about the characteristic features of the hip bone and femur and how they are connected, watch the following video.

Take a quiz

Take that newly found knowledge and solidify it by testing yourself with the following quiz!

To challenge yourself further, take a broader quiz about the structures of the entire hip and thigh.

Browse atlas

Take a closer look a the bones and ligaments of the hip joint in the gallery below.


Key points about the hip joint
Joint type Synovial ball-and-socket joint
Articulating surfaces Head of femur, lunate surface of acetabulum
Ligaments Capsular: Iliofemoral, pubofemoral, ischiofemoral ligaments
: Transverse ligament of acetabulum, ligament of head of femur
Movements Flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, lateral/external rotation, medial/internal rotation and circumduction

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