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Fibrous Layer of Articular Capsule of Hip Joint
Connective Tissue

Fibrous Layer of Articular Capsule of Hip Joint

Stratum fibrosum capsulae articularis articulationis coxae

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The fibrous layer forms the external part of the articular capsule of the hip joint. It has two groups of fibers, the internal circular fibers and the external longitudinal fibers. The circular fibers (zona orbicularis) form a ring around the head of the femur, and its fibers coalesce with that of the pubofemoral and ischiofemoral ligaments. The longitudinal fibers are concentrated in the anterosuperior aspect where they are fortified by the iliofemoral ligament (Standring, 2016).

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Anatomical Relations

The fibrous layer is attached to the acetabular margin, the acetabular labrum, the transverse acetabular ligament, and the obturator foramen. From the capsule’s acetabular attachment point, it projects laterally to encircle the head and neck of the femur, and then attaches to the intertrochanteric line, the base of the femoral neck, intertrochanteric crest, and at a point near the lesser trochanter.

The attachment point of the capsule to the femur is situated distal to the growth plate of the head of the femur, making the femur’s upper epiphysis completely intracapsular. The joint capsule lies deep to muscles and tendons and is separated anteriorly from the psoas major and iliacus muscles by the iliopectineal bursa. The joint capsule is reinforced by the iliofemoral, pubofemoral, and ischiofemoral ligaments.


The joint capsule of the hip joint ensures that the joint is sealed, thus, keeping the lubricating synovial fluid within the joint. It provides passive stability to the joint by limiting the joint movement. Additionally, it provides active stability by containing numerous proprioceptive nerve endings which relay mechanical information back to the central nervous system (Ralphs and Benjamin, 1994).

List of Clinical Correlates

—Rheumatoid arthritis


—Capsule laxity and microinstability


Ralphs, J. R. and Benjamin, M. (1994) 'The joint capsule: structure, composition, ageing and disease', Journal of Anatomy, 184 (Pt 3), pp. 503-509.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series 41st edn.: Elsevier Limited.

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Hip Joint

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The hip joint is a synovial articulation between the acetabulum of the pelvis and the proximal femur.

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