Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
A hip dislocation occurs when the ball of the thighbone 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.
Factors that can increase your chance of developing this condition include:
The doctor will ask 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 doctor will manipulate the thigh and leg. 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:
When you are ready, you should begin range of motion exercises to keep your hip joint flexible as recommended by your doctor.
Your doctor will refer you to a physical therapist to help you with your rehabilitation.
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 Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
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Rosen P, et al.
Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book, Inc; 1998.
Last reviewed February 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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