The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that functions as the largest weight-bearing joint in the human body. In a healthy hip, the head of the femur (thighbone) forms a ball that fits into the acetabulum, which is a cavity at the bottom of the pelvis that makes the socket.
Ligaments connect the ball to the socket and provide support. A smooth, tough material called articular cartilage covers the femoral head and the acetabulum to cushion the bones and promote ease and range of motion. A layer of fibrous cartilage called the labrum sits on the rim of the acetabulum to deepen the socket and hold the head of the femur firmly in place.
A smooth tissue liner known as the Synovial Membrane covers the other surfaces of the hips joint. It gives off small amounts of fluid to lubricate the joint and reduce the amount of friction from the bones rubbing against each other.
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