Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hip Strain Anatomy

To better understand a hip strain, 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 Hip Strain References
  1. Dominguez S, Liu P, Roberts C, Mandell M, Richman PB. Prevalence of traumatic hip and pelvic fractures in patients with suspected hip fracture and negative initial standard radiographs--a study of emergency department patients. Acad Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;12(4):366-9. [15805330]
  2. Dubey A, Koval KJ, Zuckerman JD. Hip fracture epidemiology: a review. Am J Orthop. 1999 Sep;28(9):497-506. [10497856]
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