A hip pointer is a painful injury where an athlete is hit directly on the iliac crest (bony outer part of the pelvis). This injury typically occurs in football, although it can occur in any contact and collision sport. The athlete will usually have a large amount of swelling and bruising at the point of contact. Treatment usually involves rest and avoiding sports until symptoms improve.
Mechanism of injury
An athlete suffers a hip pointer when he or she is hit directly on the front and side of the pelvis or tackled so that he lands on the side of his hip.
Signs and symptoms
Typically, the athlete will note that he or she was hit directly on the pelvis and that the injury was extremely painful. Examination of the area will usually reveal swelling and often a large amount of bruising. Here it will be very tender to palpation, and the patient may have limited range of motion of his hip and lower extremity due to the pain at the area of contact.
Treatment of a hip pointer
An athlete can recover from a hip pointer with rest and avoiding sports until symptoms improve. Ice helps decrease pain, swelling and bruising. Physical therapy can help the athlete regain strength and range of motion of the hip and the rest of the lower extremity. As the athlete becomes more comfortable, he can start jogging and sport-specific exercises. There are generally no long-term complications with this injury.
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