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Hip bone

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Name and describe the individual bones that form the hip bone.
  2. Identify the major parts, surfaces and landmarks of the hip bone.

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The hip bone is the large flat bone forming the left and right aspects of the pelvis. It is made from three primary bones: the ilium, ischium and pubis. These primary bones fuse into a single hip bone during the adolescent stage of development. Sometimes called the pelvic bone, each hip bone articulates anteriorly with its contralateral counterpart at the pubic symphysis and posteriorly with the sacrum. On its inferolateral surface is the acetabulum, a concave socket that articulates with the femur to form the hip joint. The hip bone has a number of important bony landmarks and provides attachment for many muscles, including muscles of the abdomen, back, buttocks, hip and thigh. It transfers body weight between the lower limbs and axial skeleton and thus has an important role to play in locomotion.

Watch the video below to learn more about the hip bone!

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Browse atlas

Explore the bones and bony landmarks of the hip bone from a medial and lateral perspective in the galleries below.


Key facts about the hip bone
Bones Ilium, Ischium, Pubis
(Shared landmarks: Acetabulum, greater sciatic notch, obturator foramen)
Ilium Body: Supraacetabular groove
: Iliac fossa, iliac crest, anterior superior iliac spine, anterior inferior iliac spine, posterior superior iliac spine, posterior inferior iliac spine
Sacropelvic surface
: Iliac tubercle, auricular surface of ilium
Gluteal surface
: Anterior gluteal line, posterior gluteal line, inferior gluteal line
Ischium Body: Ischial spine, lesser sciatic notch
: Ischial tuberosity
Pubis Body: Pubic tubercle, pubic crest, symphyseal surface
Superior ramus
: Iliopubic eminence, pectin pubis, obturator crest, obturator groove, anterior/posterior obturator tubercles
Inferior ramu
s: Contributes to ischiopubic ramus

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