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Ask the Docs | Hip Pointer

Ask the Docs
Posted March 6, 2007

  • AthletiCo Bulls' Injury Report

    Patient Question:
    While playing basketball this weekend I collided with another team member and injured my hip. Now my hip is tender and painful when I walk. Could this be serious?

    Dr. Bush-Joseph:
    It sounds like you could have suffered a hip pointer. A hip pointer refers to a direct contact injury to the iliac crest of the pelvis, or what most people think of as the “hip bone.” The term hip pointer is often used to illustrate a deep bruise, a break to the hip, or a small fracture to the hipbone. Most commonly it is used to describe a deep bruise.

    Hip pointers usually occur when a blunt force or direct contact is made with the hipbone. They are often associated with contact sports such as football, soccer, and rugby. A hip pointer is usually recognizable by pain and tenderness that occurs after a direct contact injury. There is also a loss of motion in your hip joint that often causes a limp while walking.

    Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph Dr. Bush-Joseph
    Treatment Options:
    The good news is that a hip pointer can often be effectively treated with RICE therapy: resting and discontinuing workouts; icing the hip for 20 minutes every hour over the first 48 hours; compressing the joints with a tightly wrapped bandage to help prevent swelling; and elevating the joint by sleeping or resting on the opposite hip.

    If conservative treatment fails to reduce the pain of the injury, it would be a good idea to visit an orthopaedic physician. Your physician may recommend an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain, along with a stretching program that will help you to combat stiffness of the joint. Also, your physician may order an X-ray or other diagnostic testing to rule out a more serious injury such as a fracture.

    For more information about Dr. Bush-Joseph and the Sports Medicine physicians of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, call 877.MD BONES or visit them online at www.rushortho.com.

    The information contained on this page is intended only for general public education, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for direct medical advice. This information should not replace necessary medical consultations with a qualified orthopaedic physician.



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