Glossary of Hip Terms[A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]
Abduction: Movement of a limb or other body part outward and away from the midline of the body.
Acetabulum: Cup-shaped socket that is part of the pelvis and holds the head of the femur to make the hip joint.
Adduction: Movement of a limb or other body part toward the midline of the body.
Antibiotic spacer: A device made of cement that contains antibiotics and temporarily fills the gap when an infected joint replacement is removed. The antibiotics slowly leech out over a 6 week period in order to eliminate the infection.
Arthroplasty: The removal of a diseased joint and replacement with a prosthetic device, otherwise known as a joint replacement.
Arthroscopy: A minimally-invasive procedure that involves the insertion of a small light optic tube (arthroscope) through small incisions around a joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen using the arthroscope, and other tools can be inserted in order to perform microscopic bone removal, assist with determining causes of pain, and evaluate the extent of degenerative changes among other things.
Articular cartilage: Smooth tissue that covers the end of bones where they meet with each other to form joints. The articular cartilage helps to reduce friction as the bones glide against each other.
Atrophy: Muscle wasting that is most often causes by periods of immobilization that prevent use of the muscle.
Avascular necrosis: Bone death due to temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone.
Biofilm: A collection of one or many different types of of microorganisms that stick to each other and also to a surface.
Bursa: A thin sac filled with lubricating fluid that is located between tissues such as bone and muscle in order to reduce friction as the tissues move against each other.
C Reactive Protein: A protein that is made by the liver and circulates in the blood stream in response to inflammation. Increased levels of C reactive protein (CRP) in the blood can indicate a joint infection.
Capsulorrhaphy: Suturing of a joint capsule in order to prevent recurrent dislocation of the articulating surfaces.
Chondrolysis: Rapid and progressive disintegration of cartilage within a joint.
Closed reduction: A procedure performed to set (reduce) the ends of a fractured bone back into place without cutting the skin open to reveal the bone.
Comminuted fracture: A break in the bone that is in more than two pieces.
Complete Blood Count: A blood test that provides information about the various cells in one’s blood. It is often used in orthopedics to determine the amount of white blood cells circulating in the blood. Elevated white blood cell count can be a sign of infection.
Computed Tomography (CT): A form of imaging in which a narrow beam of x-rays rotates around the body in order to generate an image. CT produces a more detailed image than x-ray and useful for visualizing bone.
Deep artery of the thigh: A branch of the femoral artery that travels more deeply along the length of the thigh, carrying oxygenated blood to the muscles of the thigh.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Blood clot that forms in a deep vein of the body. Most DVTs forms in the lower legs and are often a result of immobility leading to stasis of blood.
Displaced fracture: A bone break in which the pieces are not correctly aligned in their original location.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate: A test that determines the rate of red blood cell settling. When this value is increased, it indicates the presence of an inflammatory response that may be caused by an infection.
Extension: A movement that increases the angle between two body parts. For example, the leg must be completely straightened out in order to extend the knee, thus creating a 0 degree angle between the thigh and calf.
External rotation: Rotation of a body part away from the center of the body.
Femoral acetabular impingement: A condition that results from having an incorrectly shaped femur (thigh bone) or acetabulum (socket). This causes uneven wear on the hip joint over time because the joint is unable to move smoothly.
Femoral artery: A large artery continuing from the external iliac artery that provides the main blood supply to the thigh and lower leg.
Femoral neck: An area of the femur (thigh bone) just below the femoral head, which serves as the “ball” portion of the ball-and-socket hip joint. The femoral neck is a common location for hip fracture.
Flexion: A movement that decreases the angle between two body parts. For example, the leg is bent at the knee in order to flex the knee, creating a smaller angle between the thigh and calf then when the knee was extended.
Fluoroscopy: A type if imaging that displays a continuous x-ray on a monitor, much like an x-ray movie.
Foveal artery: A small artery located at the head of the femur (ball) where it meets the acetabulum (socket). It supplies some blood to the head of the femur and is implicated in the prevention of avascular necrosis when other sources of blood supply to the femoral head are lost.
Galleazi’s sign: A physical exam maneuver meant to test for developmental dysplasia of the hip. The exam involves the patient lying on their back with both hips and knees flexed. If the knees are uneven in height, the test is positive.
Greater trochanter: A part of the femur that can be described as a knob protruding out of the lateral side (outside) of the femur closer to the pelvis.
Hemiarthroplasty: Replacement of half of the hip joint, the femoral component, with a prosthetic. This is in contrast to a total hip arthroplasty which involves replacement of both the acetabulum and femoral head with prosthetics.
Hip pinning: A surgical procedure involving the placement of three screws through the upper part of the femur to hold a femoral neck fracture together as it heals.
Hip spica cast: A cast that keeps the hips and legs from moving after an operation in order to ensure healing in the correct position.
Hyaline cartilage: A type of cartilage that is made of type II collagen, which makes it considerably strong. Hyaline cartilage lines the acetabulum as well as the head of the femur, providing a smooth and flexible shock-absorbing surface as the two bones glide against each other.
Iliofemoral Ligament: Fibrous Y-shaped connective tissue that restricts movement of the hip joint. The Iliofemoral ligament connects the anterior superior iliac spine (an area on the lower part of the sacrum) to the intertrochanteric line (an area between the greater and lesser trochanter of the femur).
Internal rotation: Rotation of a body part toward the center of the body.
Interpositional hip arthroplasty: Placement of a human or animal tissue between the articulating surfaces of the hip joint in order to reduce friction as the joint surfaces glide over each other.
Intra-osseous Hypertension: High blood pressure within the bony matrix.
Ischemia: an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body
Ischiofemoral Ligament: Strong fibers that connect the ischium of the pelvis to the head of the femur. The ischiofemoral ligament prevents hyper-mobility and helps to stabilize the joint.
Joint space narrowing: Loss of cartilage between the two bones of a joint, decreasing the space between the bones and causing mechanical symptoms.
Labrum: A rim of soft tissue that surrounds the acetabulum, increasing the surface area of the articulating surface. The labrum protects the joint surface and provides stability to the joint.
Lateral circumflex femoral artery: A branch of the femoral artery that provides blood to the front (anterior) and middle (medial) compartments of the thigh.
Lesser trochanter: A pyramid shaped eminence the protrudes from the proximal and medial side of the femur below the femoral head.
Ligament: A connective tissue structure that connects two bones.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An imaging technique that uses strong magnetic fields to generate images of the internal structures of the body.
Medial circumflex femoral artery: An artery of the upper thigh that supplies blood to the femoral neck. Damage to this artery as a result of fracture may cause avascular necrosis.
Needle Aspiration: The insertion of a needle into tissue in order to drain fluid and/or collect a sample of fluid for laboratory testing.
Noncomminuted fracture: A bone fracture with a single fracture line that is in 2 pieces with no other bone fragments present.
Nondisplaced fracture: When the pieces of fractures bone on either side of the fracture line are correctly aligned in their original position.
NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are a class of drugs that are used to reduce fever, pain, and inflammation.
Obturator artery: An anterior division of the internal iliac artery that supplies blood to the medial thigh.
Osteonecrosis: Death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply.
Osteophyte: Also known as a bone spur, an osteophyte is a bony growth that can cause pain by impinging on other structures. It can also limit range of motion of a joint depending its size and location.
Pulmonary embolism (PE)
Subchondral sclerosis: Hardening of the bone that lies just beneath the cartilage
Transverse Acetabular Ligament