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36 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j u l y/a u g u s t 2 0 2 1 Coxal Joint By Christy Cael education | FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY The hip joint, and more specifically the coxal joint, is formed by the articulation of the head of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis. This joint serves as a bridge between the lower extremity and the pelvic girdle, similar to the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder. Both are ball-and- socket joints that offer mobility in all planes, but comparatively, the weight- bearing function of the coxal joint requires much greater stabilization. Anatomy The acetabulum is a deep, cup-like depression located on the inferolateral aspect of the pelvis. This osseous socket is formed where three bones (the ilium, ischium, and pubis) fuse and provides a stable seat for the rounded femoral head. The depression of the acetabulum is further deepened by the acetabular labrum—a fibrocartilaginous collar that snugs around the femoral head and increases joint stability. The coxal joint is a ball-and-socket synovial joint that has a thick, fibrous joint capsule, as well as a complex network of ligaments surrounding the joint. Within the joint capsule, a relatively small ligament (not pictured) connects the acetabular fossa to the fovea of the femur and encloses the obturator artery. More relevant to movement are the iliofemoral, pubofemoral, and ischiofemoral ligamentous networks located outside of the joint capsule. The iliofemoral ligament joins the anterior inferior iliac spine and the intertrochanteric line of the femur. It is bifurcated and looks like an inverted Y with a primary function of restricting hip extension and lateral rotation. The iliofemoral ligament is considered to be the strongest of the three major ligament systems of the coxal joint. Iliac crest Acetabulum Head of femur Shaft of femur Pubis Sacrum Ischium Greater trochanter Lesser trochanter Lateral View Ilium Superior pubic ramus Shaft of femur Sacrum Pubofemoral ligament Ischiofemoral ligament Lesser trochanter Ischial tuberosity Greater trochanter Anterior View

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