The hip joint is one of the largest joints in the body. The hip joint is made up of the femur and pelvic bone. The rounded head of the femur articulates with the cup-shaped socket of the acetabulum (a part of the pelvic bone) to form the ball and socket joint of the hip. Smooth friction-free movement of the hip bones is facilitated by the cushion-like cartilage tissue that lines the joint surfaces of the femur and acetabulum. The joint is further stabilized by soft tissue that surrounds the joint. A considerable amount of force or pressure is required to damage this very sturdy joint and is commonly seen during various sports activities.
Injury can occur to the bones of the joint, cartilage, muscles or other soft tissues of the hip. Some of the common hip injuries seen in athletes include:
- Labral tears: Tearing of the cartilage that forms a rim around the acetabulum
- Loose bodies: Piece of bone or cartilage that moves around in the joint
- Cartilage defects: Injury or degeneration of the cartilage, which may lead to arthritis
- Gluteus medius tears: Tearing of the gluteus medius tendon, which helps one stand upright
- Proximal hamstring tears: Tearing of the tendons that attach to the thigh muscles