Definition

A hip pointer is a bruise to the upper part of the hip.

Hip Bone and Muscles
Abdominal muscle and pelvis

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Causes

Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow to the bony part of the pelvis. This can happen when the pelvis comes in contact with a hard object, such as a helmet. It can also happen from a hard fall onto the hip.

Risk Factors

Hip pointers are more common in people who play contact sports, such as football and hockey. They are also more common in people who play basketball and soccer.

Symptoms

Problems may be:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pain with activity
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited motion

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip.

Images may be taken of the hip. This can be done with:

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to ease pain and promote healing. Options are:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
  • Medicines to ease pain and swelling
  • Crutches to keep weight off of the leg
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles

Prevention

Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow or fall. These can be hard to prevent. The risk may be lowered by:

  • Wearing proper padding and safety equipment during sports
  • Avoiding activities that may result in falls
RESOURCES:

American Physical Therapists Association
http://www.apta.org

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

REFERENCES:

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 July 30, 2020.

Hip pointers. UPMC Sports Medicine website. Available at: https://www.upmc.com/services/sports-medicine/conditions/hip-pointer#:~:text=A%20hip%20pointer%20is%20a,from%20activity%20until%20it%20heals. Accessed July 30, 2020.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT  Last Updated: 7/30/2020