Jul 13, 2017, 9:21:20 AM CDT Feb 22, 2023, 4:51:40 PM CST

Common sports injuries: What is a hip pointer?

Learn what a hip pointer is, the symptoms and how to treat a hip pointer injury.

High school varsity boys lacrosse player in his protective gear on the move down the field while playing a game High school varsity boys lacrosse player in his protective gear on the move down the field while playing a game

A "hip pointer" is an injury that occurs from a blunt impact on the point of the hip called the "iliac crest". This type of injury is common among football players but can occur in players of all sports.

What are the symptoms of a hip pointer?

What makes a blunt force injury unique is the major symptoms occur in the soft tissue more than in the bone. This can be seen as significant bruising and swelling of the soft tissue surrounding the bone, as well as the formation of something called a "hematoma." Hematoma is the medical designation for burst blood vessels that bleed subcutaneously (under the skin), resulting in severe bruising and swelling. While a hip pointer may, at first, appear as simply a large bruise, it is important to have it examined by a medical professional to ensure that there is no neurological compromise or nerve damage lingering from the impact. Sometimes, referral to an orthopedic surgeon is needed to further investigate neurological deficits.

How is a hip pointer treated?

Usually medical professionals examining a hip pointer injury will prescribe anti-inflammatories and recommend ice to control swelling and pain in the injured area. If a hematoma has occurred, sometimes a medical professional will "aspirate" the fluid that has collected to relieve pressure and to help with the pain. This is accomplished by using a syringe and needle to remove some of the fluid. Other pharmaceutical options are also available to help manage pain. Once the pain and swelling have been effectively managed, a doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to ensure no loss-of-motion in the hip joint. Gradually increasing exercise and continued muscle building at a rate appropriate to the injury is crucial in making a full recovery. On average, it can take anywhere from one to eight weeks for a hip pointer injury to heal.

While a hip pointer injury may present problems that seem a bit sobering, it is still a commonly treated injury among many young athletes. The experts at Children's Health℠ Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are equipped to bring the best treatment options to provide a safe and comfortable recovery for the athlete in your family. Contact us today and, together, we can get your athlete on the road to complete recovery.

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The only pediatric institute of its kind in Texas, the Children's Health Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine specializes in sports-related injuries and prevention. We provide the full continuum of care from orthopedic surgery and physical therapy to sports performance training and nutrition programs.

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