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Home >> Consumer/ Patient Info >> Conditions/ Procedures >> Hip Joint

Conditions/ Procedures

Hips :: Knees :: Sports Medicine

Hip joint

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint where the head of the femur articulates with the cuplike acetabulum of the pelvic bone. The acetabulum fits tightly around the head
of the femur. The ball is normally held in the socket by very powerful ligaments that form a complete sleeve around the joint (the joint capsule).
The capsule has a delicate lining (the synovium). The head of the femur and the hip socket is covered with a layer of smooth cartilage which is a fairly soft, white substance.  This cartilage cushions the joint and allows the bones to move on each other with very little friction.

An x-ray of the hip joint usually shows a "space" between the ball and the socket because the cartilage does not show up on x-rays. In the normal hip this "joint space" is approximately 1/4 inch wide and fairly even in outline.

Click on the topics below

Hip anatomy :: Arthritis of the Hip Joint :: Total Hip Replacement (THR)
Hip Resurfacing :: Revision Hip Replacement

Normal anatomy of the hip joint

How does the hip joint work?
Find out more in this web based movie.

Hip anatomy

Arthritis of the hip joint

The term arthritis literally means inflammation of a joint, but is generally used to describe any condition in which there is damage to the cartilage.

Click here to find out more about arthritis. _________________________________________________________________

Total Hip Replacement (THR)

Total Hip Replacement (THR) procedure replaces all or part of the hip joint with an artificial device (prosthesis) to restore joint movement.

Find out more about Total Hip Replacement (THR) with the following links.

Total hip replacement

Interactive Movie
Text version
Patient Info handout


Hip Resurfacing

Hip Resurfacing or bone conserving procedure replaces the acetabulum (hip socket) and resurfaces the femoral head. This means the femoral head has some or very
little bone removed and replaced with the metal component. This spares the
femoral canal.

Find out more about Hip Resurfacing with the following links.

Hip resurfacing

Interactive Movie
Text version
Patient Info handout


Revision hip replacement

This means that part or all of your previous hip replacement needs to be revised.
This operation varies from very minor adjustments to massive operations replacing significant amounts of bone and hence is difficult to describe in full.

Find out more about Revision Hip Replacement with the following links.

Revision hip replacement

Interactive Movie
Text version
Patient Info handout

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