The foundation for a healthy hip joint is laid before birth. For a normal hip development a healthy investment is primarily needed, and secondly a non-harmful position for the hip joint in the womb.
Since many decades, infants are studied using X-ray and since more than 30 years carefully and safely with ultrasound, to initiate appropriate treatment in the presence of hip dysplasia (development disorder) or dislocation (luxation).
Through spreading of the infant's leg, the femoral head is screwed deep into the acetabulum, and it arranges for the ripening of the flat acetabulum by a forming stimulus. The aim of this treatment is to obtain a normal hip joint and to prevent subsequent abrasion (osteoarthritis). Dysplasia that are not discovered until late childhood or even adulthood, can be operated by a hip rectifying intervention, so that the very probable early osteoarthritis does not prematurely lead to problems.
Besides development disorders there are these following reasons for the destruction of the sliding surfaces of the hip joint cartilage: injuries, joint infections, rheumatism, osteonecrosis (bone tissue loss), idiopathic osteoarthritis (abrasion due to unknown cause) and others.
Brief anatomy of the hip joint
At the upper end of the femur, the femoral head and the acetabulum of the hip bone form the hip joint. The joint is characterized by a very good positive connection, two thirds of the femoral head are in the acetabulum. The head is not purely spherical, but is rather nut-shaped. Head and acetabulum are connected in the middle by a strong bond. The joint is surrounded by a thick and strong joint capsule, in which four strong ligaments are further embedded. The muscles of the hip joint go from the pelvis to the large rolling bumps (great trochanter) and to the shaft of the femur. Special attention has to be given to the muscles during surgery, because a good muscle function is essential for proper standing and walking after surgery. Please read further in the "Artificial hip" section.
Anatomy of the hip joint