Anatomy of the Hip Joint
The hip joint is one of the largest joints of the body and plays a critical locomotive role as the tight moves forward and backward. The hip joint also rotates when sitting and when changing directions while walking.
The hip joint is where the ball of the femur joins the pelvis at a socket called the “acetabulum”. There is cartilage covering both the bone of the femur and the acetabulum in the hip joint. A joint lining tissue, called synovium, surrounds the hip joint.
This synovium tissue produces a fluid that lubricates the joint providing nutrients to the cartilage of the joint. The ligaments around the hip joint attach the femur bone to the bony pelvis. There are a number of muscles and tendons that glide around the hip joint. Tiny fluid-filled sacs, called bursae, provide gliding surfaces for muscles and tendons around the hip joint. Major arteries and veins pass the front of the hip joint. The largest nerve of the body, the sciatic nerve, passes behind the hip joint.
What Causes Hip Pain?
Hip pain involves any pain in or around the hip joint. You may not feel pain from your hip directly over the hip area. You may feel it in your groin or pain in your thigh or knee. Hip pain may be caused by problems in the bones or cartilage of your hip, including:
- Hip fractures – can cause sudden hip pain. These injuries can be serious and lead to major problems. Hip fractures are more common as people get older because falls are more likely and your bones become weaker.
- Infection in the bones or joints.
- Osteonecrosis of the hip (necrosis from loss of blood supply to the bone).
- Arthritis – often felt in the front part of the thigh or groin.
- Labral tear of the hip