Ligament of head of femur

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Ligament: Ligament of head of femur
Left hip-joint, opened by removing the floor of the acetabulum from within the pelvis. (Ligamentum teres visible at center.)
Hip-joint, front view. The capsular ligament has been largely removed. (Ligam. teres visible at center.)
Latinligamentum capitis femoris, ligamentum teres femoris
Gray'ssubject #92 336
Fromfemur head
Toacetabular notch

The ligament of the head of the femur (Latin: ligamentum capitis femoris), or the round ligament of the femur (Latin: ligamentum teres femoris), is a triangular, somewhat flattened band implanted by its apex into the antero-superior part of the fovea capitis femoris; its base is attached by two bands, one into either side of the acetabular notch, and between these bony attachments it blends with the transverse ligament.

It is ensheathed by the synovial membrane, and varies greatly in strength in different subjects; occasionally only the synovial fold exists, and in rare cases even this is absent.

The ligament is made tense when the thigh is semiflexed and the limb then abducted or rotated outward; it is, on the other hand, relaxed when the limb is adducted.

Research suggests it contributes little influence as a ligament past childhood,[1][2] although it may still be important in transmitting arterial supply to the head. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the ligament gives the femur a stabilizing strength which, as in the orangutan, some animals lack.[3]

The ligament of the head of the femur contains within it the acetabular branch of the obturator artery.


  1. ^ Tan CK, Wong WC (August 1990). "Absence of the ligament of head of femur in the human hip joint". Singapore Medical Journal 31 (4): 360–3. PMID 2124003. 
  2. ^ Gray's Anatomy[page needed]
  3. ^ Femur article, Encyclopædia Britannica.

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.