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Understanding Hip Anatomy

Understanding Hip Anatomy

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Discover how your hip works

A joint is a point where multiple bones meet and work together so that you can perform daily tasks like sit, climb stairs, walk comfortably, etc.

healthy hip

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.


As joint disease progresses, the bones begin to rub together causing a rough misshapen surface, sometimes resulting in bone-on-bone contact, producing pain and stiffness.

hip replacement component

Hip replacement surgery removes the worn and arthritic areas of your hip joint and replaces those areas with an implant that helps restore a smooth joint surface.


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As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. The performance of hip replacements depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. If you have conditions that limit rehabilitation you should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell you if hip replacement is right for you.

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