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Hip Contusion

A hip contusion, or bruising of the hip, is a mild injury that can occur as a result of a direct impact to the hip. When a bruise or contusion occurs, the small blood vessels get damaged and blood leaks out under the skin causing the typical swelling and bruising seen in these injuries. While a hip contusion is uncomfortable and may temporarily make it difficult to walk or use your hip normally, it’s an injury that typically resolves quickly. Sometimes, especially in the sporting world, these injuries are called ‘Hip pointers’.

Hip Contusion Hero Image 2

A hip  contusion, or bruising of the hip, is a mild injury that can occur as a result of a direct impact to the hip. When a bruise or contusion occurs, the small blood vessels get damaged and blood leaks out under the skin causing the typical swelling and bruising seen in these injuries.

While a hip contusion is uncomfortable and may temporarily make it difficult to walk or use your hip normally, it’s an injury that typically resolves quickly.

Sometimes, especially in the sporting world, these injuries are called ‘Hip pointers’.

What causes Hip Contusion?

A hip contusion usually results from a direct blow to the hip from an object or another person. It can also occur as a consequence of striking your hip during a fall. Any blunt trauma with sufficient force to propel its energy into the muscle can cause a contusion. Contusions are often the result of sports-related injuries. Hip  contusions are common in contact sports especially the following;

 

  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Basketball

 

Risk factors for a hip contusion or a hip pointer include participation in contact sports and wearing limited or no padding or protective equipment in the region.

Symptoms

If you have a hip Contusion, you may have these symptoms:

  • Pain and/or stiffness in the hip
  • Ecchymoses, or ‘black and blue’ bruising and/or redness.
  • Swelling of the hip
  • Difficulty weight bearing and/or limping

 

If you have a hip contusion you are usually able to put some pressure on your hip and move the hip but with some discomfort.

When to see a doctor

Although a hip contusion doesn’t usually require medical treatment, you may need to see your doctor to make sure that you don’t have a more serious injury. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you injure your hip and have swelling/pain that gets worse instead of better, have a lot of bruising or swelling in your hip,  or have trouble weight bearing. Your doctor will ask you about your injury and your symptoms and examine your hip. In order to rule out another injury, your doctor may order an  x-ray or MRI to get a better look at the bones and soft tissues of your hip.

Non-operative treatment

Hip contusions are always treated nonoperatively. Conservative treatments include:

 

  • Laying flat to take your weight off the hip
  • Crutches or a cane as needed
  • Rest, including taking a break from play
  • Icing your hip (every one to two hours for 20 minutes) – The general recommendation is to avoid heat during the first 24-48 hours to avoid increasing the extent of bleeding and swelling.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, if needed
  • Severe contusions are often treated by a Physical Therapist or an Athletic Trainer. They are often the best people to advise you on when it is safe to return to your sport.

 

 

When you are feeling better, you can also try these exercises at home to help your

hip contusion recover.

Recovery

After a hip  contusion, you may be able to restart normal activities after just a few days, though more severe contusions may require several weeks of resting your hip. You should start stretching exercises within a few days of your injury and progress to strengthening and weight-bearing  exercises, under the guidance of your doctor or physical therapist. You can return to play once you’ve regained your full range of motion and strength of your ankle, knee and hip.

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