Hip Pointer Treatment in DFW

When you take a hard fall without wearing padding, it’s very possible to suffer an injury known as a hip pointer. Many people have probably not heard of it, or they just call it a bad bruise. However, this injury to the iliac crest of your hip bone actually has the potential to lead to more serious issues. Your best bet is to seek a diagnosis and treatment from one of our top orthopedic surgeons in Dallas. At SPORT, we take pride in offering compassionate care to our patients. If you suffered a hip injury, we’re here for you. To schedule an appointment, please call 469-200-2832 or fill out our online intake form.

What Is a Hip Pointer Injury?

A hip pointer is a type of deep bruising located at the front top part of the hip bone (pelvis). Usually, these injuries result from a direct blow to the soft tissue of the hip and the portion of the bone called the iliac crest. Deep bruising is also known as a contusion. Other areas which could be affected include the tensor fascia lata, the external oblique muscle, and the greater trochanter of the femur.

More severe hip pointers sometimes result in what is called a hematoma. This is a collection of blood that forms a palpable mass beneath the skin.

hip pointer injury

Hip Pointer Causes and Risk Factors

These injuries are common in athletes who play contact sports like hockey, football, martial arts, rugby, and many others. However, athletes who play other sports in which they could fall or bump into other participants can suffer these injuries as well. Even nonathletes can experience them if they fall down onto their hip or side. Automobile accidents can also result in a hip pointer injury.

Those injuries that occur to areas other than the iliac crest or greater trochanter are not usually called hip pointer injuries. 

Diagnosing a Hip Pointer

Usually, your doctor can diagnose a hip pointer injury from a simple physical examination and taking your medical history. Board-certified physicians in sports medicine will likely have seen this type of injury many times in their years of practice. A sports medicine doctor Dallas practitioner with our practice will have the training required to appropriately diagnose and treat hip pointer injuries.

We will often begin your diagnosis by asking about the events that led up to your injury. Then, the physical exam will allow us to assess the severity of the bruising and swelling if any. We will also move and manipulate the position of your leg to test if you have a limited range of motion. 

Sometimes, we recommend X-rays of the hip region. This helps us to rule out other causes of your hip pain, such as a hip fracture. Generally, doctors do not utilize other forms of imaging tests in order to reach a diagnosis.

Symptoms of Hip Pointer Injuries

Symptoms of a hip pointer injury range from very mild to fairly severe. Most hip pointers have milder symptoms, including some pain and tenderness around the injured area. 

In cases of severe hip injuries, you could see the following symptoms:

  • Swelling and bruising of the hip area
  • Severe pain and tenderness of the soft tissues
  • Limited range of motion in the hip joint
  • Feelings of weakness in the leg or pelvis

How Painful Is a Hip Pointer?

This depends on how serious your injury was. Hip pain from hip pointers can range from mild to extremely painful. Your level of pain usually results from how hard the impact on your hip was. Contact sports injuries can be more severe if the sport does not require protective equipment around the hip joint.

In order to reduce pain, one of the simplest treatment options is nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs. Another way to achieve pain relief is to ice the area and wear a compression garment. 

Treatment for Hip Pointers

In most cases, hip pointer treatment involves the RICE method. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation. If you still wish to participate in sports while you recover, you can do so while using a protective pad over the injured hip. Depending on how severe your hip pointer is, your recovery time could range from a few weeks to a few months. 

In order to achieve a full recovery, some patients require rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy. Your doctor will likely recommend physical therapy along with conservative treatment if you experience issues with your range of motion. It usually involves one to three weeks of stretching and exercises to strengthen your muscles. Speak to your trusted sports medicine doctor about which treatment plan is right for you.

If it turns out that you have a fracture rather than a simple bruise or contusion, we recommend speaking with one of the available primary care physicians or an orthopedic surgeon. An orthopedic specialist will have more experience treating fractures.

Does a Hip Pointer Injury Require Surgery?

While undergoing surgery for a hip pointer injury is extremely rare, severe hip pointers can result in a fracture or hematoma, in which Dr. Berry may recommend a hip arthroscopy in Dallas, or a simple procedure to remove the fluid buildup.

If symptoms point to the possibility of a labral tear, as well, then we may need to perform a hip labral tear test, and if positive, there is also a chance that you’ll have to undergo hip labral tear surgery. Again, this is only in extremely rare occurrences.

Hip Pointer Injury Recovery Time

Hip pointers and the pain that accompanies them should fade after a few weeks. Your doctor might recommend that you rest your hip joint as much as possible with the use of crutches. To avoid the risk of reinjury or worse, tearing your hip flexor or sustaining permanent injuries, Dr. Berry may also recommend that you discontinue all athletic activity for a certain period of time. 

Complications of a Hip Pointer

As with most injuries, a hip pointer has the potential to produce complications, especially if you fail to explore your treatment options.

Potential complications patients may see after the injury occurred include:

  • Muscle fibrosis
  • Delayed muscle soreness
  • Myositis ossificans
  • Hematoma formation
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Inflammation 
  • Chronic pain
  • An inability to achieve former athletic performance

How Can an Athlete Prevent a Hip Pointer?

The most important tool a football player, ice hockey player, or other player has is protective padding. Even if you didn’t wear padding prior to your injury, deciding to wear it now can reduce your risk of additional injury. 

Can I Exercise with a Hip Pointer?

As long as you do not have an avulsion fracture, you can expect to return to your regular activities after two to four weeks. Once Dr. Berry relays that you have achieved full healing, you can return to rigorous exercise. However, if you intend to engage in physical activity on a hard surface, or in inclement weather where you could slip, such as football in the rain, we recommend padding.

Contact SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy Today

At SPORT Orthopedics and Physical Therapy, we pride ourselves on offering exceptional treatment to every single patient as soon as they walk through our doors. Not only do we have the best Dallas physical therapists available, but we also have exceptionally talented orthopedic surgeons who specialize in hip replacement and hip resurfacing surgeries in the Dallas area. To schedule an appointment with our practitioners, please call 469-200-2832. You can also fill out our online intake form.