A hip dislocation occurs when the ball of the thighbone moves out of place within the socket of the pelvic bone. This ball and socket form the hip joint.
The Hip Joint
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Hip dislocations are relatively rare and severe injuries. They are often associated with femur or pelvic fractures. A normal hip joint is stable and strong. A hip dislocation can only occur when a strong force is applied to the hip joint.
Factors that can increase your chance of developing this condition include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. An exam of your your hip and leg will be done.
Images may be taken of your bones. This can be done with:
The doctor will manipulate the thigh and leg. This is to try to put the ball of the femur back into the hip socket. You may be given medications to relax, such as:
In some cases, surgery is needed. Open reduction is often done if:
When you are ready, you should begin range of motion exercises to keep your hip joint flexible as recommended by your doctor.
Your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist to help you with your rehabilitation.
There are no guidelines for preventing hip dislocation. Most come from car accidents or sports injuries. To reduce your risk, take the following steps:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Canale ST, Campbell WC. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics . 9th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc; 1998.
Roberts JR, Hedges JR, Bell MH. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine . 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: WB Saunders Company; 1998.
Rosen P, et al. Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice . 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book, Inc; 1998.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 3/1/2013