Hip Pointer

Article by Jess Clarey

What is a Hip Pointer?

A hip pointer is a contusion (bruise) on the iliac crest (top of hip bone) or across the greater trochanter (most prominent aspect on outside of hip) as a result of direct trauma. Sometimes this can be accompanied by an avulsion injury, where a small fragment of bone is torn away by the attached muscle. Bleeding and swelling are a result of the injury and cause pain with hip movements.

hip pointer

What Causes a Hip Pointer?

A hip pointer injury is usually the direct result of a blow to the hip (iliac crest or greater trochanter) or from a fall onto a hard surface.

What are the Symptoms of a Hip Pointer?

A characteristic feature of a hip pointer is iliac crest pain.

  • Pain will be of sudden onset following a direct blow or fall
  • Pain will worsen with running, jumping, twisting or bending
  • The affected area will be tender
  • Associated bruising or swelling
  • Range of motion of the hip may be limited by pain
  • You may walk with a limp due to pain

How is a Hip Pointer Diagnosed?

A hip pointer is diagnosed mainly through the mechanism of injury. Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough examination to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

How is a Hip Pointer Treated?

Initially, a hip pointer is treated using rest, ice and compression. Ice can be applied for 15-20mins every 2-3 hours in the initial 24-72 hours following injury. A hip pointer requires adequate recovery time to allow the injured structures to heal. If walking is difficult crutches may be supplied to allow for mobilisation. Return to play will be determined by pain levels, hip mobility and based on your previous level of function. It may take 1-3 weeks to heal. 

While you are waiting for the contusion to heal your physiotherapist will provide you with some simple exercises to maintain hip joint range of motion and prevent stiffness. Aquatic-based exercises can be helpful in maintaining hip joint range whilst unloading the area.

How to Return to Sport after a Hip Pointer

Once the pain and tenderness settle, you can consider a return to sport. If you are returning to a contact sport, padding over the area may be favoured to prevent further injury. It is important that you can run and perform the activities (in particular tackling) of your chosen sport without pain.

If you have any concerns regarding your hip pointer injury, please seek the advice of your physiotherapist or doctor.

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Related Injuries

General Information

Hip Joint Pain

Lateral Hip Pain

Adductor-related Groin Pain

Pubic-related Groin Pain

Inguinal-related Groin Pain

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Sportsman's hernia

Iliopsoas-related Groin Pain

  • Hip Flexor Strain

Other Muscle-related Pain

Systemic Diseases

Referred Sources

Hip Surgery

Helpful Products for Hip Pointer

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Common Hip Pointer Treatments

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Core Exercises
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Bursitis Treatment
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Prehabilitation
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • FAQs about Hip Pointer

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
  • How Can You Prevent a Future Leg Injury?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
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    Last updated 18-Jan-2018 03:00 PM

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