Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Infant Hip Dysplasia Anatomy

To better understand congenital 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 upper femur (thighbone) and the bony pelvis. The femoral head is the ball and the acetabulum of the pelvic bone is the socket. The hip joint is lined with cartilage. Cartilage is the smooth, gliding surface inside all joints. Joints are also lubricated with a substance known as synovial fluid.

The hip bursae are fluid-filled areas in the soft tissues around the hip joint where tendons and muscles pass over bony prominences. These fluid-filled sacs serve as a cushion between tendons and bone and lubricate the region with synovial fluid.

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: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Infant Hip Dysplasia References
  1. Harcke HT. Imaging methods used for children with hip dysplasia. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 May;(434):71-7. [15864034]
  2. Trousdale RT. Acetabular osteotomy: indications and results. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):182-7. [15577485]
  3. Woolacott NF, Puhan MA, Steurer J, Kleijnen J. Ultrasonography in screening for developmental dysplasia of the hip in newborns: systematic review. BMJ. 2005 Jun 18;330(7505):1413. [15930025]
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