All About the Hip

All About the Hip

Because the hip joint is required for almost all of our day-to-day movements, when something goes wrong, this can cause debilitating everyday pain. By learning a little bit about hip anatomy and how everything works together, you may be able to better understand the cause of Hip Osteoarthritis and how treatment options may help.

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hip anatomy diagram

How Does the Hip Work?

At first, the hip appears to be a simple, uncomplicated part of the body. The truth, however, is that the hip is actually a complex mechanism with many different parts that must work together harmoniously to provide the kind of mobility that most people take for granted every day.

The hip joint is described as being a “ball and socket” joint due to the joint’s appearance of a ball (femoral head) fitting snugly in a cup-like socket (acetabulum). The ball (femoral head) is located at the top of the thigh bone (femur) and the socket (acetabulum) is part of the pelvis. The area where the bones meet is covered by a slick but firm tissue called cartilage, allowing the joint to move smoothly.

A healthy hip joint will allow the leg to move freely, while supporting the upper body and absorbing the impact that results from exercise and daily activities.

hip anatomy diagram

How Does Hip Osteoarthritis Affect the Structure of the Hip?

In the hip, the development of osteoarthritis tends to weaken the articular cartilage by breaking down its composition. Depending on the extent of the osteoarthritis, the cartilage can further thin and wear away, damaging its integrity. Hip Osteoarthritis can also cause damage due to surrounding soft tissues, tendons and ligaments undergoing stress.

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Treatment Options

Whether you’re having trouble bending down or you feel like you’re missing out on doing what you love, there are some changes you can make to help reduce your hip pain.


This information is intended for residents of Australia only.

The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always talk to your doctor before you make decisions about your health.

© 2021 Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd. This site is published by Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd which is solely responsible for its contents. DePuy Synthes is a business unit of Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd. 1-5 Khartoum Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113, ABN 85 000 160 403.