Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Dislocated Hip Anatomy

To better understand hip dislocation, it helps to understand the anatomy of the hip joint.

The hip is a ball and socket joint between the head of the femur and the pelvis. The head of the femur represents the ball, and the acetabulum of the pelvic bone represents the socket. The hip joint is lined with cartilage, which is a smooth surface that lines the inside all joints. The inside of the joints are lubricated with a slippery substance, called synovial fluid.

A bursa is a small sac that is filled with very slippery fluid. The bursa acts as a lubricating pad between a tendon and bone. This prevents destruction of the tendon as it moves over a bone.

Anatomy examples:

  • The hip joint viewed from the front
  • The hip joint with the joint capsule open
  • The hip joint viewed from behind
  • Normal hip x-ray
  • The femur and pelvis

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Dislocated Hip References
  1. Hamilton H, Fung T, Rapley P. Reconstruction for chronic dislocation of the hip. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2003 Aug;85(6):802-8. [12931795]
  2. Soong M, Rubash HE, Macaulay W. Dislocation after total hip arthroplasty. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2004 Sep-Oct;12(5):314-21. [15469226]
  3. Vialle R, Odent T, Pannier S, Pauthier F, Laumonier F, Glorion C. Traumatic hip dislocation in childhood. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2):138-44. [15718889]
  4. Yamada N, Maeda S, Fujii G, Kita A, Funayama K, Kokubun S. Closed reduction of developmental dislocation of the hip by prolonged traction. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2003 Nov;85(8):1173-7. [14653603]
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