Hip Pointer

HP1 Hip Pointer


A hip pointer injury is an extremely painful, acute injury to the iliac crest of the pelvis. The injury causes bleeding into the abdominal muscles, which attach to the iliac crest. The bone and overlying muscle are often bruised, and the pain can be intense. Pain may be felt when walking, laughing, coughing, or even breathing deeply.

Causes of Hip Pointer Injury

HP2 Hip Pointer

Hip pointers are the result of a direct blow to the iliac crest, whether from a direct hit from a helmet, or a hard fall. Hip pointers are common in contact sports such as football and soccer.

hp3 Hip Pointer

Athletes who participate in contact sports, especially those who wear little or no protective padding or equipment, are at highest risk. Football players are at the top of the list because

1) they often get hit often by an opponent’s helmet or shoulder pads

2) They hit the ground hard or

3) Both. Other athletes that are vulnerable are those who play hockey, soccer, rugby, or lacrosse, and those who ski and cycle.


• Sudden pain on the upper, outside part of the iliac crest caused by a blow or a fall

• Hip pain that gets worse with activities such as running, jumping, twisting, or bending

• A limp

• Tenderness in the top area of your hip

• Limited range of motion at the hip joint

• Possible bruising and/or swelling

• Possible muscle spasms in the hip area


• Rest 24-48 hours to prevent further damage. A hip pointer needs time to heal itself.

• Apply ice packs for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times a day for the first 24-72 hours, but don’t apply ice directly to the skin.

“A hip pointer is a contusion that will take some time to heal,” says Dr Kevin Yip “It is important to move the hip so it does not get stiff and lose range of motion, but you need to respect the healing process as well. Movement should be pain free. Aquatic therapy can often be helpful to maintain range of motion as the tissue is healing. It is also important to protect the area with padding when returning to sport so you don’t continue to traumatize the area, creating a long-term problem.”

The pain from a hip pointer can last several weeks, as can pain when the bruised up comes into contact with something or somebody. Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate, so returning to training and competition will be determined by how soon your hip recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury has occurred. However, the condition usually heals within one to three weeks.

Start treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to get better. If you return too soon, you might make the injury worse.


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