Hip Pointer

Updated: Oct 22, 2015
  • Author: John M Martinez, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Overview

Background

A hip pointer is a contusion to the iliac crest, the surrounding soft-tissue structures, or the greater trochanter of the femur. Typically, the injury is caused by a direct blow or fall. [1, 2, 3, 4] Hip pointer injuries occur most commonly in contact sports (eg, football, hockey), but they can also occur in noncontact sports (eg, volleyball) as a result of a fall onto the hip or side. Pain and tenderness in this region can limit an athlete's participation in sports.

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's First Aid and Injuries Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Repetitive Motion Injuries.

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Epidemiology

Frequency

United States

No specific statistics for the frequency of hip pointer injuries are available; however, hip injuries generally comprise 5-9% of high school athletic injuries. [1, 2, 3, 5]

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Functional Anatomy

The anterior iliac crest region of the hip and the greater trochanter of the femur have a minimal amount of overlying fatty tissue or muscle and are more susceptible to contusion and injury than more protected regions of the body.

The iliac crest has multiple muscle origins and insertions, including the sartorius, the tensor fascia lata, the internal and external obliques, and a portion of the rectus femoris muscle.

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