The hip joint is a deep, stable ball and socket joint. The femur makes up the ball and the socket is formed by the acetabulum in the pelvis. Hip range of motion is sacrificed for stability when compared to the other ball and socket joint, the shoulder. Complex connections from the pelvis and spine keep the lower extremity firmly attached and working properly. Three large groups of muscles cross the hip and provide the power we need to run, jump and lift – the gluteus, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Hip joint pain and dysfunction is common in athletes and active individuals of all ages. Tendonitis and other inflammation around the pelvis and hip affect young athletes and can result in tears and fractures. Tears in the cartilage around the hip socket, the labrum, are more prevalent than once thought and usually require surgery. As we age, arthritis and, of course hip fractures in the elderly, happen more often. These problems tend to require more complex treatment including replacement and repair.