The hip joint is the largest joint of the human body. It is a ball and socket joint. The thigh bone (femur) ends with a rounded projection or ball (femoral head), which fits into the socket (acetabulum) of the pelvic girdle. Both the ball and socket are lined with cushioning tissue called cartilage.
The joint is sealed inside a tough capsule made of membrane (synovial capsule), which contains lubricating fluid that aids smooth motion of the joint. The ball is anchored firmly into the socket with tough connective tissue called ligaments. The muscles of the legs overlay these ligaments.
The hip joint is complicated so as to allow a wide range of motion while still supporting the weight of the body.
Symptoms of a hip problem may include:
• pain in the hip joint (usually felt in the groin area)
• referred pain to the thigh and knee
• reduced range of motion
• muscle stiffness
• pain when trying to put weight through the leg on the affected side.
There are many condition that may cause hip problems, such as.
• rheumatoid arthritis
• ankylosing spondylitis
• bone fracture
• developmental dysplasia of the hip
• Perthes’ disease
• slipped capital femoral epiphysis
• irritable hip syndrome.