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Hip joint and ligaments

Other Terms: Pelvic girdle joints and ligaments, Articulatio coxofemoralis, Articulatio coxae, Articulation coxofémorale


Like the shoulder joint the hip joint allows for great freedom of motion, although the range of motion is not quite as great as that of the shoulder. This comparative decrease in mobility results from the deep hip socket with its extended labrum, which almost completely engulfs the head of the femur. In addition, strong extrinsic ligaments tightly surround the joint to form a very strong, reinforced joint capsule.


The three major ligaments of the hip joint, the iliofemoral, pubofemoral, and ischiofemoral, form a strong sheath around the fibrous capsule. The iliofemoral ligament is argued to be the strongest ligament in the human body. Often called the Y-shaped ligament it passes superior and anterior to the joint, running from the anterior inferior iliac spine to the intertrochanteric line. With the thinner pubofemoral and ischiofemoral ligaments it spirals around the joint to strongly stabilize this powerful joint. In addition to these large ligaments, a triangular flat band, the ligament of the head of the femur, extends from the fovea of the femoral head to the margins of the acetabular fossa. This ligament is also important because it functions as a pathway for blood vessels that supply the bone in the head of the femur.


Ball and socket joint

Articular surfaces

Head of the femur with the acetabulum of the os coxa

Close-packed position

Extension with medial rotation


Articulatio coxae


Articulation coxofémorale


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