The hip is a weight-bearing joint, responsible for supporting the body's load when standing and during movement. The main hip joint is comprised of the end of the femur, or thighbone, and a cavity located on the pelvis known as the acetabulum. The femoral head rests within the acetabulum, forming a ball-and-socket joint with a wide range of motion. The bones' surfaces are covered with cartilage that allows the hip to move freely without incurring damage due to friction.

Damage to the hips can occur due to natural degeneration or through trauma to the bones. As the body ages, the cartilage wears away and becomes less effective at protecting the hip's bones from damage. Bones will deteriorate, and may develop 'bone spurs' on the edges of the joint.