DefinitionA hip pointer is a bruise to the upper part of your hip. Many muscles, including abdominal muscles, attach at this site. A hip pointer can involve injury to bone and soft tissue.
|Hip Bone and Local Musculature|
|The iliac crest is the top curve of the pelvis toward the front of the body.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesHip pointers are caused by a direct blow to the bony part of the pelvis. This commonly occurs in when the pelvis comes into contact with a hard object, like a helmut or the boards.. It can also occur by taking a hard fall onto the hip.
Risk FactorsParticipating in contact sports increases your chance of developing a hip pointer. Football players and hockey players are especially at risk. Hip pointers are also more common while playing basketball and soccer.
SymptomsSymptoms of a hip pointer include:
- Severe pain
- Pain with activity
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased range of motion
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to specialist. An orthopedist focuses on bones and joints. A sports medicine physician focuses on sport-related injuries. Images may need to be taken of structures inside your body. This can be done with x-ray.
TreatmentHip pointers are treated with:
- Rest—this may include the use of crutches to move around
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- For severe pain, some athletes may receive an injection of a numbing medicine and/or steroid directly into the hip
- Physical therapy to help you regain mobility and build muscle strength
PreventionHip pointers occur through direct blows to the affected area. This is often accidental. As a result, not all hip pointers can be prevented. However, make sure to wear proper sports equipment and padding to decrease your chance of any injury.
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Physical Therapists Association
Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Adkins S, Figler R. Hip pain in athletes. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2109-2118. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000401/2109.html. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Hall M. Anderson J. Hip pointers. Clin Sports Med. 2013 Apr;32(2):325-330.
Waite B, Krabak BJ. Examination and Treatment of Pediatric Injuries of the Hip and Pelvis. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2008;19(2).
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 03/18/2013