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Hip Pointers

En Español (Spanish Version)

Definition | Causes | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention


A hip pointer is a bruise to the upper part of your hip. Many muscles, including abdominal muscles, attach at this site. A hip pointer can involve injury to bone and soft tissue.

Hip Bone and Local Musculature

Abdominal muscle and pelvis

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Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow to the bony part of the pelvis. This commonly occurs in when the pelvis comes into contact with a hard object, like a helmet. It can also occur by taking a hard fall onto the hip.

Risk Factors

Participating in contact sports increases your chance of developing a hip pointer. Football players and hockey players are especially at risk. Hip pointers are also more common while playing basketball and soccer.


Symptoms of a hip pointer include:

  • Severe pain
  • Tenderness
  • Pain with activity
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Soreness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased range of motion


You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to specialist. An orthopedist focuses on bones and joints. A sports medicine physician focuses on sport-related injuries.

Images may need to be taken of structures inside your body. This can be done with x-ray.


Hip pointers are treated with:

  • Restricting activities to allow the area to heal; this may involve using crutches to keep weight off the hip
  • Ice therapy to help relieve swelling
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain
  • Injection of a numbing medication and/or steroid directly into the hip to relieve severe pain
  • Physical therapy to help you regain mobility and build muscle strength


Hip pointers occur through direct blows to the affected area. This is often accidental. As a result, not all hip pointers can be prevented. However, make sure to wear proper sports equipment and padding to decrease your chance of any injury.





  • Adkins S, Figler R. Hip pain in athletes. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2109-2118. Available at: Accessed March 10, 2015.
  • Hall M. Anderson J. Hip pointers. Clin Sports Med. 2013 Apr;32(2):325-330.
  • Waite B, Krabak BJ. Examination and Treatment of Pediatric Injuries of the Hip and Pelvis. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2008;19(2).

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