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(Dislocated Hip; Dislocation, Hip)


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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Causes are:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • A collision

Risk Factors

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 

OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 


Canadian Orthopaedic Association 

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation 


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: Updated June 2014. Accessed May 12, 2020.

Hip dislocations. Patient UK website. Available at: Updated May 28, 2014. Accessed May 12, 2020.

Hip dislocation—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website Available at:  . Accessed May 12, 2020.

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