Affiliations: [a] Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, Denver, CO | [b] University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Denver, CO
Abstract: The human hip is the largest ball and socket joint in the body. It differs in design from the more common hinge joint in order to meet the requirements of ambulation. The hip is an inherently stable joint because of its bony structure and its extensive ligamentous and muscular support. Regardless of this stability, the hip joint maintains a wide functional range of movement. This dichotomy of function has resulted in a complex organization of joint structure. A thorough understanding of the biomechanic forces exerted across the joint surfaces is essential to the understanding of both normal and pathologic function. The authors of this article will explore the complex structural anatomy of this joint system in light of the biomechanic principles that effect movement and weight bearing through the joint.
Keywords: Hip joint, biomechanics, anatomy, function, vector forces