The hip is one of the largest and flexible joints in the body.

It’s purpose is to support the upper body when a person is standing, walking, running, bending and stretching.

The hip is commonly  known as a’ ball and socket’ joint. The ball (femoral head) fits into a rounded socket in the pelvis (acetabulum) and strong lubricated ligaments hold the hip in place.

The joints are surrounded by protective tissue known as articular cartilage. This cartilage acts as a shock absorber helping to support the joint and prevent the bones from rubbing against each other.

As we get older, the hip joint can be affected by ‘wear and tear’ and may need replacing.

Find out more about hip surgery on this NHS Choices website