A hip dislocation is when the ball of the thigh bone moves out of place within the socket of the pelvic bone. It is not common.
|The Hip Joint|
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Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Prior hip replacement surgery
- Doing activities that involve heights, such as being on a ladder
- Playing certain sports, such as football, rugby, skiing, and snowboarding
- Health problems that result in falls, such as weak muscles
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Having an abnormal hip joint
Problems may be:
- Pain in the hip, especially when trying to move the leg
- Pain that spreads to the legs, knees, and back
- One leg that looks shorter than the other
- Problems walking
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked how the injury happened. A hip and leg exam will be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
Images may be taken of your bones. This can be done with:
It may take 2 to 3 months to heal. The goals of treatment are to put the bones back in place. This may be done:
- Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to ease pain while the doctor moves the ball of the thigh bone back into the hip socket
- With surgery—tissue or bone fragments may be removed before the ball of the thigh bone can be put back into the hip socket
These treatments will also be needed:
- Rest and ice
- Pain relievers
- A splint or sling to keep the hip still as it heals
- Exercises to help with hip strength, flexibility, and range of motion
Most hip dislocations are due to accidents. The risk may be lowered by:
- Wearing a seat belt in motor vehicles
- Wear safety gear when playing contact sports or working
- Strengthening the muscles around the hip joints
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Hendey GW, Avila A. The Captain Morgan technique for the reduction of the dislocated hip. Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Dec;58(6):536-540.
Hip dislocation. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/hip-dislocation. Updated June 2014. Accessed May 12, 2020.
Hip dislocations. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/hip-dislocations. Updated May 28, 2014. Accessed May 12, 2020.
Hip dislocation—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/hip-dislocation-emergency-management . Accessed May 12, 2020.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
- Review Date: 02/2020
- Update Date: 05/12/2020