Hip Anatomy and Terminology

The hip is the largest “ball-and-socket” joint in the body. It is held together by ligaments, tendons, and a joint capsule.

The ball is called the “femoral [fem-er-uhl] head,” which is the top of the femur or thigh bone.

The socket is called the “acetabulum” [as-i-tab-yuh-luhm] and is a part of the pelvis.

The femoral head fits into the acetabulum forming the hip joint. They fit together so the ball can rotate freely in the socket.

Articular cartilage is a very smooth surface that covers the femoral head and the acetabulum so that the hip joint glides easily during motion.

The labrum is a soft rim that lines the edge of the acetabulum. The labrum creates a seal of the hip joint. This seal helps keep an oily fluid called synovial fluid inside the hip joint. The labrum also helps stabilize the hip. The hip is also stabilized by the surrounding muscles, ligaments, tendons and joint capsule.

Doctors use a number of different terms for hip dysplasia depending on severity and time of occurrence. These names include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Developmental Dislocation of the Hip (DDH)
  • Hip Dislocation
  • Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)
  • Acetabular Dysplasia
  • Congenital Dislocation of the Hip (CDH)
  • Social Media Links

  • Translate Link

    Para ver en Español Click Aquí

  • SubNav Menu

  • Latest News

    Latest News

    view all

    New Avascular Necrosis Study

    Jun 09

    Risk Factors for AVN Avascular Necrosis (AVN) is a worrisome complica...

    Ten-year-old Wyatt Whitney passes hip exam with fl...

    Mar 15

    Wyatt Whitney, son of Larry-the-Cable Guy and his wife Cara was born w...

    Hip preservation surgery vs. Total hip replacement

    Mar 08

      Hip preservation surgery has been a remarkable advance for y...

  • Latest Stories

    Latest Stories

    view all

    Stephanie

    Jun 09

    My name is Stephanie and I was diagnosed with Hip dyspepsia at age...

    Grey

    May 24

    On February 27th 2017 at 38 weeks pregnant my water broke and I went i...

    Darryl

    May 24

    I am a 45 year old Male from England who was diagnosed with Hip Dyspla...