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.
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.
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.
Hip Joint Pain
Lateral Hip Pain
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