by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A hip pointer is a bruise to the upper part of the hip.
Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow to the bony part of the pelvis. This can happen when the pelvis comes in contact with a hard object, such as a helmet. It can also happen from a hard fall onto the hip.
Hip pointers are more common in people who play contact sports, such as football and hockey. They are also more common in people who play basketball and soccer.
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the hip.
Images may be taken of the hip. This can be done with:
The goal of treatment is to ease pain and promote healing. Options are:
Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow or fall. These can be hard to prevent. The risk may be lowered by:
American Physical Therapists Association
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Adkins S, Figler R. Hip pain in athletes. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2109-2118. Available at:
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Accessed July 30, 2020.
Hip pointers. UPMC Sports Medicine website. Available at: https://www.upmc.com/services/sports-medicine/conditions/hip-pointer#:~:text=A%20hip%20pointer%20is%20a,from%20activity%20until%20it%20heals. Accessed July 30, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 3/10/2021
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