Missed our latest free live-stream? Catch up now on our Procedure Tips (Chris Nicholas) and Right Lower Quadrant Pain (Matt Morgan)

Ligamentum teres of the hip

The ligamentum teres, also known as the ligamentum capitis femoris or round ligament of the hip, is an intra-articular ligament within the medial hip joint.

The ligament passes from the transverse ligament and acetabular notch of the acetabulum to the femoral head where it inserts into a shallow depression called the fovea capitis. The ligament is lined by synovium. It ranges from a well-formed structure in some patients to absent in others (case 2).

In the infant it has a significant role so far as it transmits a nutrient artery to the femoral head epiphysis. In the adult, its role is poorly understood, and there are several hypothesized functions which include 2:

  • maintains the upright position as it is tightest when erect and weight-bearing
  • aids fine coordination of the hip joint
  • additional hip stabilizer in patients with generalized ligamentous laxity, hip dysplasia and in patients with anteroinferior acetabular deficiency
  • maintain lubrication in the joint by aiding the distribution of synovial fluid
  • congenital absence of the ligamentum teres 3
  • ligament rupture or tear
  • avulsion fracture of the fovea capitis (case 3)
Anatomy: Lower limb

Anatomy: Lower limb

Article information

rID: 7297
Section: Anatomy
Tag: hip
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • round ligament of the hip
  • ligamentum capitis femoris

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Figure 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: normal
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: absent teres ligament
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: avulsion fracture of femoral head
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.