Hip joint capsule

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 7 Sep 2022

The hip joint capsule is strong and dense, and is attached above to the acetabular margin 5-6 mm beyond its labrum, in front to the outer labral aspect and, near the acetabular notch, to the transverse acetabular ligament and the adjacent rim of the obturator foramen. It surrounds the femoral neck and is attached anteriorly to the intertrochanteric line, superiorly to the base of the femoral neck, posteriorly 1 cm above the intertrochanteric crest, and inferiorly to the femoral neck near the lesser trochanter. 

The capsule is thicker anterosuperiorly, where maximal stress occurs, particularly in standing, posteroinferiorly it is thin and loosely attached.  It has two sets of fibers, circular and longitudinal. The circular fibers are known as zona orbicularis.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: hip joint capsule (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: axial MRI
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  • Figure 3: coronal MRI
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