A clinically relevant review of hip biomechanics

Arthroscopy. 2010 Aug;26(8):1118-29. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2010.01.027.


The hip is a complex anatomic structure composed of osseous, ligamentous, and muscular structures responsible for transferring the weight of the body from the axial skeleton into the lower extremities. This must be accomplished while allowing for dynamic loading during activities such as gait and balance. The evaluation of hip pain and periarticular pathology can be challenging because of the complex local anatomy and broad differential diagnosis. Recent advancements in the evaluation and surgical treatment of hip pathology have led to a renewed interest in the management of these disorders. An understanding of the basic biomechanical and kinematic function of the hip and the consequences of associated pathology can greatly assist the orthopaedic surgeon in appropriately diagnosing and treating these problems. In this review we discuss the basic biomechanical concepts of the native hip and surrounding structures and the changes experienced as a result of various pathologies including dysplasia, femoroacetabular impingement, labral injury, capsular laxity, hip instability, and articular cartilage injury. We will also discuss the clinical implications and surgical management of these pathologies and their role in restoring or preserving the native function of the hip joint.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / anatomy & histology
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / pathology
  • Joint Diseases / physiopathology
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Walking / physiology