Integrated Functional Anatomy of the:

Hip Joint

by Stefanie DiCarrado DPT, PT, MSCS, NASM CPT, CES, PES

& Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, H/FS

Cadaver Dissection of Hip Joint with Soft Tissue Removed and Bony Landmarks Labeled By Anatomist90 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


What's in a name

  • hip (n): ""part of the human body where pelvis and thigh join," Old English hype "hip," from Proto-Germanic *hupiz (cognates: Dutch heup, Old High German huf, German Hüfte, Swedish höft, Gothic hups "hip"), of uncertain origin." (Etymology Online)
  • joint (n): "c. 1300, "an (anatomical) joint, a part of a body where two bones meet and move in contact with one another, the structure that holds such bones together," from Old French joint "joint of the body" (12c.), from Latin iunctus "united, connected, associated," past participle of iungere "join" (see jugular). "


  • Joint Type:
  • Bones: Femur and Pelvis (1 - 4)

    • The pelvis is comprised of the pubis, ischium and ilium. These bones intersect in a "Y" shape at the acetabulum (1/5th pubis, 2/5th ischium, 2/5th ilium (3)), and although fused and ossified by early adulthood, they are actually separated by hyaline cartilage at birth.

Depiction of the <a id=Lateral pelvis and acetabulum, with insertions and origins labeled."> Lateral View of Pelvis - By Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body (See "Book" section below) Gray's Anatomy, Plate 235, Public Domain,

  • Articular Surfaces:

    • Femoral Head (Ball): Forms about 2/3rds of a sphere, giving way to the femoral neck laterally. The femoral head is covered completely in hyaline cartilage except for