The hip is a very strongly constructed joint. The head of the thigh bone sits in a socket in the pelvis called the acetabulum. The ball and socket fit very closely together and the joint is further stabilised by a ligament (ligament teres) that joins the head of the femur to the socket. It is also stabilised by the labrum, a fibrocartilage structure that runs around the edge of the acetabulum.
The movement of the hip joint is powered by a very strong collection of muscles and tendons that surround the joint.
The structure of the hip makes it very strong and stable but the hip can stiffen up, particularly as it starts to degenerate and become arthritic.
In the early stages of degeneration physio and mobility programs can be hugely beneficial in improving hip function. Later on surgical procedures such as tendon repairs and hip replacement become more useful options.