Hip Pointer Injury
A hip pointer injury is an extremely painful acute injury, usually resulting from a direct blow to the hip. This injury will cause damage and bruising (a contusion) to the iliac crest (hip bone of the pelvis), surrounding muscles (i.e. abdominal, hip abductors, hip flexors, hip rotators), and even the greater trochanter at the top of the femur.
The damage usually results in bleeding internally into the surrounding muscles which can cause swelling in the muscles and intense pain during simple leg movements. It is uncommon, but in the case of a severe blow to the hip, an avulsion fracture to the iliac crest may occur as well. An avulsion fracture is a tiny piece of bone pulling away from the iliac crest by the muscle.
This injury usually occurs in contact sports such as football (direct helmet hit to the hip), hockey (hit into the boards) or soccer (goal tender diving), but can result from a hard fall. Wearing hip padding will reduce the risk of a hip pointer injury or minimize the severity if a hip pointer injury occurs.
Symptoms of Hip Pointer Injury
If you have a hip pointer injury you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Acute pain, bruising and swelling along the iliac crest in the area of the injury
- Tenderness and pain at the front and side of the hip
- Internal bleeding at the front and side of the hip which may extend into the abdominals and gluteus medius and minimus (hip abductor muscles)
- Loss of muscle strength in the hip abductors if these muscles are injured
- Pain when breathing deeply, sneezing, coughing or laughing
- Limited range of motion in the hip joint
Hip Pointer Injury Diagnosis
Hip Pointer injury symptoms can also indicate other, very serious injuries, including organ damage - so get to a doctor! A full examination by a physician should be done to check for damage to organs in the abdominal area.
An x-ray may be taken to rule out a fracture and an MRI to see the soft tissue in your hip and abdomen. This will give your doctor a clear picture of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the area, and will allow him or her to look for any internal bleeding.
Treating a Hip Pointer Injury
Treating a hip pointer injury USUALLY only requires non-invasive, conservative measures. Once you have a diagnosis by your physician, they will assign an appropriate treatment protocol. Knowing that there is often internal bleeding in these cases, it is important to follow instructions of the physician carefully. Once the injury no longer bleeds, your doctor will probably prescribe a a conservative treatment protocol adhering to the Rest.Ice.Compression.Elevation. method (RICE) - similar to protocols outlined here.
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