Hip Contusion

April 16, 2014

What is a Hip Contusion?

Contusions are deep bruises to the muscle and a hip contusion is no different. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reports that contusions are second only to strains when it comes to the most common sports injuries. Some contusions are minor injuries and may cause a professional athlete to be temporarily removed from a game, but many will not need any more additional treatment that would be required for a bruise. However, severe contusions may be far more damaging and need medical intervention to properly heal.

What Are The Major Symptoms?

At the moment of injury, a patient will feel a sudden, sharp pain in the hip, followed by a deep ache as the bruise develops. The site of the contusion will be discolored,  swollen and painful to touch. More severe contusions may cause blood to pool around the side of the injury, resulting in a hard swelling or hematoma. If left unchecked, a very bad contusion can result in shock due to internal bleeding and might also involve other injuries, like fractures or dislocations. Hip contusions can create stiffness and pain in the joints, making it difficult to walk and move normally.

What Causes a Hip Contusion?

Contusions are caused by trauma,  so any hip contusion is caused by a severe blow to the hip. Contact sports are a frequent cause and hip contusions can be caused when a player falls hard on their hip or collides hip-first into another player. Outside of sports hip contusions can be caused by bad falls, car accidents, and other blunt-force trauma that doesn’t break the skin.

What Are The Treatment Options?

During diagnosis, a doctor may use an MRI  to determine the severity and extent of a contusion. The RICE formula is often recommended: rest (limiting movement will let the contusion heal and help control pain), ice (15 – 20 minutes every hour to reduce pain and swelling), compression  (such as with sports tape or bandaging), and elevation (above the level of the heart, and in a gentle stretch position). Many contusions will heal relatively quickly on their own. Massage is not recommended, but NSAIDs and painkillers may be prescribed. In the case of a large hematoma, a doctor may choose to drain the swelling to speed up the healing process.

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