Hip Injuries, Age 12 and Older
A hip injury and pain can make it hard to walk, go up and down stairs, squat, or sleep on the side that hurts. A clicking or snapping feeling or sound around your hip joint (Reference snapping hip) may bother you or cause you to worry. But if your hip is not painful, in many cases the click or snap is nothing to worry about. Home treatment may be all that is needed for minor hip symptoms.
To better understand hip injuries, it may be helpful to know how the Reference hip Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window works. It is the largest ball-and-socket joint in the body. The thighbone (femur) fits tightly into a cup-shaped socket (acetabulum) in the pelvis. The hip joint is tighter and more stable than the shoulder joint but it does not move as freely. The hip joint is held together by muscles in the buttock, groin, and spine; tendons; ligaments; and a joint capsule. Several fluid-filled sacs (bursae) cushion and lubricate the hip joint and let the tendons and muscles glide and move smoothly. The largest nerve in the body (sciatic nerve) passes through the pelvis into the leg.
Injuries are a common cause of hip problems. You may not remember a specific injury, especially if your symptoms began slowly or during everyday activities.
- Overuse injuries occur from repeating the same activity. The repeated activity, such as running or bicycling long distances, stresses the hip joint and may cause irritation and inflammation. Examples of overuse injuries include irritation of the large sac (bursae) that cushions the bones of the hip joint (Reference trochanteric bursitis), irritation of the tendons in the hip (Reference tendinitis Opens New Window), Reference muscle strain Opens New Window, and hairline cracks (Reference stress fracture Opens New Window) in the neck of the thighbone (femur).
- A sudden (acute) injury may occur from a fall on the hip,
a direct blow to the hip or knee, or abnormal twisting or bending of the leg. Examples of acute injuries that may cause hip pain include:
- A broken hip (Reference hip fracture Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) or pelvis (Reference pelvic fracture Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window), such as an Reference avulsion fracture Opens New Window
- A Reference dislocated hip Opens New Window or Reference sprained hip Opens New Window.
- Reference Muscle strain Opens New Window in the groin or buttock.
- Severe bruising (Reference contusion) Opens New Window.
Treatment for a hip injury depends on the location, type, and severity of the injury as well as your age, general health, and activities (such as work, sports, hobbies). Treatment may include first aid measures; application of a brace, cast, harness, or traction; physical therapy; medicines; or surgery.
Reference Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine