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Acetabulum: A cup-shaped socket on the pelvis where the head of the femur is contained. It is located on the lateral surface of the hip, in the region where the three parts of the coxal bones, os coxae, or innominate bones1, the ilium, ischium, and pubis, fuse. The acetabulum is a large, semispherical concave socket.

labelled image of hip joint showing lateral pelvis, femur, head of femur, acetabulum, and labrum

The Hip Joint with Acetabulum

The acetabulum consists of three parts:

  • Acetabular rim - an outer rim, roughly horseshoe-shaped, which forms the articular surface.
  • Acetabular fossa - a deep central region which accomodates a ligament that joins the head of the femur to another ligament. This ligament spans the:
  • Aceubular notch: a gap between the two ends of the actabular rim

The acetabulum is basically the socket of your hip joint, which is a ball-and-socket-joint.

labelled image of acetabulum, or hip socket

Labelled Acetabulum
image by Anatomist90 via wikimedia

The acetabulum gets its name from a Latin word for a little cup or saucer shaped dish used for holding vinegar. The Latin word for vinegar is acetum.

For more information see Structure and Function of the Musculoskeletal System by James Watkins

This page created 03 Oct 2012 15:16
Last updated 17 Jul 2016 07:38

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