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Hip Pointers

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Hip Pointers


A hip pointer is a bruise to the upper part of the hip.

Hip Bone and Muscles.

Abdominal muscle and pelvishttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=77467746AN00062_105433_1.jpgAN00062NULLjpgAbdominal muscle and pelvisNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\AN00062_105433_1.jpgNULL63NULL2008-12-164002157746_432310Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


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.

Risk Factors

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:

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pain with activity
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited motion


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:

  • Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
  • Medicines to ease pain and swelling
  • Crutches to keep weight off of the leg
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles


Hip pointers are caused by a direct blow or fall. These can be hard to prevent. The risk may be lowered by:

  • Wearing proper padding and safety equipment during sports
  • Avoiding activities that may result in falls




  • Adkins S, Figler R. Hip pain in athletes. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Apr 1;61(7):2109-2118. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000401/2109.html. 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.


  • Laura Lei-Rivera, PT, DPT
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.