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What is a hip pointer (and how do to treat it)
What is a hip pointer (and how do to treat it)

By: Dr. Pitts


Have you ever seen a football player take a blow to the hip and the player immediately uses both hands to press on his hip? The team doctors rush out and help the player limp to the sidelines. A few minutes later the sideline reporter gives the report that the player sustained a ‘hip pointer’. It’s at that moment when you wonder, “What is a hip pointer?”

If a hip pointer sounds painful, you’re right; hip pointer can be excruciating to endure. I’d like to share what constitutes as a hip pointer injury, what are the symptoms of a hip pointer, and what treatment options are available for a hip pointer injury.

What is a hip pointer injury?

A hip pointer occurs during impact on the iliac crest, the fan-shaped or crescent-shaped top of the hip bone. A football helmet hitting the hip joint or a heavy object striking the bony protrusion part of the hip is what can often cause a hip pointer.

Symptoms of hip pointer injuries

Hip pointers are often presented as severe tenderness and pain when pressing inward on the hip joint. Most people who experience a hip pointer injury also have noticeable swelling and bruising around the hip region. If the injury occurred in an athletic activity, the player will often notice limited range of motion and muscle weakness around the hip joint. Anyone who suffers a hip pointer should be immediately assessed to determine whether any internal organs were also damaged during impact.

Treatment options for hip pointer injuries

As with many injuries, hip pointer injuries should be treated with rest, ice, and compression. This will alleviate some inflammation and pain, as well as aid with any discomfort. Once swelling and pain are reduced, it may be time to slowly begin range-of-motion exercises to regain joint health over time.

The first step after suffering a hip pointer injury is to consult with one of our board-certified physicians at Orthopedic Associates. Our experienced staff can identify any potential complications and diagnose the full extent of the injury. Click here to schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Associates.





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