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Hip Bone (Left)
Skeletal System

Hip Bone (Left)

Os coxae

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The hip bone (coxal, pelvic, or innominate bone) is a large, irregular bone that consists of three parts; the ilium, ischium, and pubis, which are fused together in adults. It’s considered part of the lower limb and is located lateral to the sacrum and lower lumbar vertebrae.

Because the hip bone articulates directly with the axial skeleton at the sacroiliac joint, it's less mobile than the free part of the lower limb. The hip bone articulates with the free part of the lower limb at the hip joint.

Overall, the hip bone provides the bony platform for movements of the lower limb and supports the weight of the body when upright. The “pelvic girdle” is the collective term for the right and left hip bones, sacrum, and coccyx. Unlike the pectoral girdle, the pelvic girdle forms an incomplete ring around the axial skeleton and is weight bearing, making it more stable than the pectoral girdle and therefore less mobile than the pectoral girdle.

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The hip bone is one of the most sexually dimorphic bones in the skeletal system. This is due to differing morphology and general locomotor requirements between males and females, and the necessity of the hip bones to facilitate childbirth in females.

In general, female hip bones are lighter, thinner, and less robust than males. The pelvic inlet and outlet are wider in females, as well as the greater sciatic notches. Females also have a longer pubis and wider subpubic angle (females = 80-85°; males = 50-60°). The acetabulum tends to be larger in males (Standring, 2020; White and Folkens, 2005).

List of Clinical Correlates

- Dislocation of hip joint

- Fracture of acetabulum

- Hip dysplasia


Standring, S. (2020) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 42nd edn.: Elsevier Health Sciences.

White, T. D. and Folkens, P. A. (2005) The Human Bone Manual. Elsevier Science.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

A rib–pelvis distance less than one fingerbreadth rules in a fracture with a specificity of 88%, sensitivity 46%, and is an independent predictor of having multiple vertebral fractures.

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