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Ein

Powerful forces at work

The hip joint: anatomy and function

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that joins the thigh (femur) and the pelvis. Its optimal spherical shape allows for a wide range of movement. At the same time powerful forces are at work here because of its central position in the body.
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The illustration shows the most important elements in the hip

It consists of the hip socket in the pelvis and the femoral head. Both are covered with cartilage that acts as a bearing material. Stability is provided by muscles, the joint cavity and the ligaments that surround this. The necessary lubrication fluid for smooth movement of the joint is produced by cells in the joint capsule. High impact forces such as those that frequently occur in accidents, can lead to a damaged joint. More often however the reason for damage is joint wear, mostly caused and influenced by a number of factors, but also by congenital displacement such as congenital dysplasia of the hip. This can lead to increased early wear of a joint because of an inadequately formed socket and an unsuited femoral anatomy. 
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