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Hip Pointer Injury

A hip pointer is a painful injury to the iliac crest, the upper prominence of the pelvis over the side of the hip. The pain and tenderness associated with this injury can limit athletes’ participation in sports.

Hip Pointer Injury Hero Image 2

A hip pointer is a painful injury to the iliac crest, the upper prominence of the pelvis over the side of the hip. The pain and tenderness associated with this injury can limit athletes’ participation in sports. The injury can also cause bleeding around the hip and into the abdominal muscles.

What causes Hip Pointer Injury?

Hip pointer injuries are usually caused by a direct blow to the hip. This injury is common among athletes who play contact sports. While a hip pointer often occurs due to a collision on the playing field, athletes can also suffer this injury from a fall.

Hip pointer injuries are most common in these sports:

• Hockey
• Football
• Basketball
• Volleyball
• Skiing
• Rugby

Symptoms

Athletes with a hip pointer injury are likely to experience tenderness and pain, sometimes intense, where they have been injured. Bruising and swelling may be present, and athletes may experience a limited range of motion in the hip. The injury can also result in bleeding into the abdominal muscles, which are connected to the iliac crest. Because the abdominal muscles are affected, common symptoms also include pain when:

• Walking
• Coughing
• Sneezing
• Breathing deeply
• Laughing

When to see a doctor

Athletes who suffer a serious injury to their hip should see their doctor. Your doctor’s visit will include a full physical examination to assess the extent of your injury. X-rays are often needed to rule other conditions such as fractures.

Non-operative treatment

The treatment of a hip pointer is always non-operative. The most important thing to do is rest. Other conservative treatments include:

• Local, regular applications of ice for the first three days after the injury
• Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen
• Physical therapy to develop strength and improve range of motion while the injury heals

You can also try these exercises at home:

Hip Pointer Injury

Recovery

Athletes can usually return to play once pain and other symptoms have subsided. This may take a few weeks. For extra protection, consider padding when you return to contact sports. Your doctor and physical therapist can guide you in your recovery.

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