Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
A hip dislocation occurs when the ball of the thigh bone moves out of place within the socket of the pelvic bone. This ball and socket form the hip joint.
Hip dislocations are relatively rare and severe injuries. They are often associated with femur or
pelvic fractures. A normal hip joint is stable and strong. A hip dislocation can only occur when a strong force is applied to the hip joint. This may occur due to:
Factors that can increase your chance of developing this condition include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. An exam of your your hip and leg will be done.
Images may be taken of your bones. This can be done with:
The thigh and leg will be manipulated. This is to try to put the ball of the femur back into the hip socket. You may be given medications to relax, such as:
In some cases, surgery is needed. Open reduction is often done if:
A physical therapist will assess the injury. An exercise program will be created to help recovery and to strengthen the muscles.
There are no guidelines for preventing hip dislocation. Most come from car accidents or sports injuries. To reduce your risk, take the following steps:
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Hip dislocation. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00352. Updated June 2014. Accessed February 11, 2016.
Hip dislocations. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/hip-dislocations. Updated May 28, 2014. Accessed February 11, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
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