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 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.
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.
Symptoms of a hip pointer include:
- Severe pain
- Pain with activity
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased range of motion
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to specialist. An orthopedist focuses on bones and joints. A sports medicine physician focuses on sport-related injuries.
Images may need to be taken of structures inside your body. This can be done with x-ray.
Hip pointers are treated with:
- 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
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.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2015 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -