Hip Dislocation

Overview

While injuries to the fingers, wrist, ankle and knee are far more common in sports and recreational activities, they are relatively easy to repair and quick to heal. Hip dislocations, however, are extremely painful and debilitating. In fact, you may not be able to move your leg and if there is nerve damage, you may lose feeling in your foot or ankle area as well.

If there are other associated injuries, such as fractures, a hip dislocation can have long-term consequences. Once the thighbone has been pushed out of its socket, blood flow can be disrupted and nerves damaged. If the blood supply is lost, the bone can die. Additionally, the protective coverage of the bone may be damaged, increasing the risk of arthritis in the future.

It takes a skilled surgeon and medical team to respond to a hip dislocation correctly. At the FHCH Sports Medicine Program, we understand the seriousness of hip injuries, especially a dislocation. We can quickly make an expert diagnosis using state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies and provide superior care to ensure that your hip dislocation doesn't hinder your ability to lead a productive, active life.

 

What Causes a Hip Dislocation?

The hip is a ball and socket joint and it is extremely strong and durable. It takes a lot to dislocate the ball-shaped head of the femur from the cup-shaped socket in the pelvis. Usually, a hip dislocation occurs when a great amount of force is applied to the region, so much force that the thighbone pops out of its socket. This is typical in a motor vehicle accident, a fall from a great height or a sports injury where a hard impact is delivered, such as a football helmet blow to a runner's hip region.

 

Emergency Response to Hip Dislocation

In many cases where the hip is dislocated, other injuries are present as well, such as fractures to the pelvis and legs, back injuries and head injuries. A hip dislocation is considered an orthopaedic emergency and you should call for help immediately.

Do not move the injured person and keep them warm. You'll also want to watch for signs of shock.

At the hospital, the attending physician can usually diagnose the hip dislocation quickly. The position of the leg is a good indicator. An x-ray will show whether there are additional fractures in the hip or thighbone.

 

Treatment

Treatment of hip dislocation involves the physician at the FHCH Sports Medicine Program administering an anesthetic or a sedative before the bones are manipulated back into their proper position. This is often referred to as a reduction.

If this is ineffective, surgery may be required.

If you have questions about a hip dislocation or want to make an appointment with us, please contact one of our Patient Care Coordinators and they'll be happy to help you.