Hip Pointers

Overview

Definition

A 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
Abdominal muscle and pelvis
The iliac crest is the top curve of the pelvis toward the front of the body.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Hip 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 helmet. It can also occur by taking a hard fall onto the hip.

Risk Factors

Participating 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.

SymptomsandDiagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms of a hip pointer include:

  • Severe pain
  • Tenderness
  • Pain with activity
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Soreness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased range of motion

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. An orthopedist focuses on bones and joints. A sports medicine physician focuses on sport-related injuries.

Images, such as x-rays, may need to be taken of structures related to this injury inside your body.

Treatments

Treatment

Hip pointers are treated with a variety of options, including:

  • Restricting activities to allow the area to heal; this may involve using crutches to keep weight off the hip
  • Ice therapy to help relieve swelling
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain
  • Injection of a numbing medication and/or steroid directly into the hip to relieve severe pain
  • Physical therapy to help you regain mobility and build muscle strength

Prevention

Hip 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.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

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 March 5, 2018.

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).