Hip | Definition, Synonyms, Functions & Anatomy


Hip is one of the parts of our body. In Latin, it is known as coxa. It is the area on every side of the pelvis. It is the main weight-bearing joint in the human body. This part of the body supports the legs to hold the body.


The hip is a joint between the upper thigh bone and the pelvis. Also, it is described as the part of the body between the legs and the waist. In Urdu, we call it as کولہے.


This word originates from Old English hype “hip,” from Proto-Germanic hupiz also of Dutch heup, Old High German huf, German Hufte, Swedish hoft, Gothic hups “hip” of uncertain origin.


  • Pelvis
  • Hindquarters
  • Haunches
  • Thighs
  • Loins
  • Buttocks
  • Posterior
  • Rear


The joints in the hips are responsible for the broad range of movements that are essential for our daily tasks such as walking or climbing stairs. It supports the weight of the body and helps in the motion of the upper leg.

Also, it permits the motion of 3 major axes all of which are perpendicular to each other. It works as a way station that transfers power or strength from the lower to the upper body. Also, it allows the movements in many patterns such as:

  • Flexion
  • Extension
  • Abduction
  • Adduction
  • Circumduction
  • Rotation

Structure and Anatomy of Hips

Some of the detailed information about its structure is mentioned below:


The hip bone is also known as the coxal bone or pelvic bone. There are three bones in the hip which are:

  • Ilium
  • Pubis
  • Ischium


It is the biggest and utmost bone of the hip. It is a necessary part of the pelvic girdle. This is along with the ischium and pubis are bones in the young skeleton that combine to make one bone in adults and its basic union is in the acetabulum.


It is the frontal and lower part of the hip. Its function is to protect the bladder, intestines, and interior sex organs. It joins the backbones of the pelvic girdle. Also, it permits a round structure to attach the upper half of the body to the lower half of the body. Pubis has three parts which are:

  • Body
  • Superior ramus
  • Inferior ramus


This bone forms the inferior and rear sides of the hip. It also makes up the pelvis. This is under the ilium and in the rear of the pubis. The superior part of this bone forms the foremost part of the concave portion of the pelvis that forms the hip.


The muscles in the hips cause its movement. According to modern science, there are almost 17 muscles that are divided into 4 groups which are:

  • Gluteal group
  • Adductor group
  • Iliopsoas group
  • Lateral rotator group

Gluteal Group:

The muscles in this group are:

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Gluteus medius
  • Gluteus minimus
  • Tensor fasciae latae

Adductor Group:

The muscles in this group include:

  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor Mangus
  • Pectineus
  • Gracilis

Iliopsoas Group:

The muscles in this group involve:

  • Iliacus
  • Psoas Major

Lateral Rotator Group:

The muscles in this group are:

  • Externus obturators
  • Internus obturators
  • Piriformis
  • Superior gemeli
  • Inferior gemeli
  • Quadratus femoris


The joint of hip joint receives multiple innervations from the femoral, obturator, sciatic, and superior gluteal nerves.

Capsule of Hip Joint

The capsule of the hip joint or capsular ligament is the strong and opaque attachment of the hip joint. These capsules help in mobility function and constancy of the joints. The three capsular ligaments are:

Iliofemoral ligament: This ligament is the most powerful in our body.

Pubofemoral ligament: This ligament prevents excess abduction and extension.

Ischiofemoral ligament: This ligament is the weakest and prevents the excess of extension.

Hip pain

This pain feels around the joints of the hip. It is a symptom of some conditions like arthritis, injuries, and bursitis. The person who moves their hips in all directions like gymnasts or dancers is more likely to injure their hips.

Hip Disorders

  • Avascular necrosis
  • Femoroacetabular impingement
  • Dysplasia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Fractures
  • Hip dislocation
  • Labral tear
  • Hips flexor strain
  • Hamstring injuries

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Mention the number of hip bones in humans.

Human has 2 hip bones which makes the bony pelvis.

Which organ does the hip protect?

  • Kidneys
  • Part of the lower intestine
  • Urinary bladder

Mention the name of the smallest muscles in the hips.

Gluteus minimus is the smallest muscle.

Which of the organs is connected to the hips?

The appendix is connected to the hips.

What are the symptoms of hip problems?

There are many symptoms some of these are:

  • Worsening hips pain
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Difficulty in bearing weight
  • Limited range of movement
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • Trauma

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