Femoroacetabular joint

Last revised by Aaron Rayan on 2 Aug 2021

The femoroacetabular or hip joint is a large ball-and-socket synovial joint between the femoral head and the acetabulum.

The femoroacetabular joint is a ball and socket joint that joins the femoral head to the acetabulum.

The ball and socket articulation allows for a high degree of mobility. In comparison to the shoulder joint it permits less range of movement due to the increased depth and contact area, but displays far more stability. The acetabular labrum increases the depth of the joint 1.

The joint is surrounded by a fibrous capsule, which is attached to the acetabulum, and then attaches to the proximal aspect of the femur 1. Thickenings of this capsule constitute the ischiofemoraliliofemoral and pubofemoral ligaments.

There are a number of different muscles that permit flexion/extension, adduction/abduction, and internal/external rotation of the hip joint. See: movements of the thigh.

Subtendinous, iliopectineal and greater trochanteric bursae, and bursae between gluteus maximus and vastus lateralis exist near the joint 1.

Branches of the medial circumflex femoral, lateral circumflex femoral, obturator (via artery to head of femur), and superior and inferior gluteal arteries supply the joint in adults 2. A branch may also be present in the ligaments teres.

There is nerve supply to the femoroacetabular joint provided by the femoral, obturator and superior gluteal nerves, and the nerve to quadratus femoris 2.

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