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How to Know If You Have A Dislocated Hip?|Risks of Recurrent Hip Dislocations

About Hip Dislocation

Hip Dislocation is a condition in which the femur or the thigh bone slips out of hip socket.1 The hip joint is a ball and socket joint in which the ball is formed by the acetabulum and the socket is formed by the femoral head or the upper end of the femur. During a hip dislocation the femoral head is pushed either in front or the back out of the socket. This results in severe pain and reduced range of motion of the hips. There can be a variety of causes for a hip Dislocation of which the most common cause is a fall on the hip, especially in the elderly population.

Young athletes can also suffer from a hip dislocation after a fall or injury to the back while playing contact sports like football, rugby, or hockey. A motor vehicle collision may also result in hip dislocation.

How Can You Tell If You Have A Dislocated Hip?

How Can You Tell If You Have A Dislocated Hip?

If you have had a bad fall on the hip or have had a motor vehicle collision in which you have had an injury to the hip joint then there may be a case of a Dislocated Hip. If you have had a Dislocated Hip then there will be excruciating pain within the hip joint. There will be complete inability to move the legs in any direction. There will also be a visible deformity around the pelvic region with the hip looking as if it is twisted outwards.

An individual with a Dislocated Hip will also have numbness with loss of sensation in the foot, ankle, or sometimes the entire legs. He or she will have difficulty maintaining balance and ambulating as a result of a Dislocated Hip.

In order to confirm if you have dislocated a hip, a trip to the emergency room is advised where the treating physicians will take radiological studies of the affected area in the form of x-rays or even a CT scan of the Hips and Pelvis which will clearly show the socket of the hip joint being out of its normal anatomical position and confirm that the individual has had a Dislocated Hip.

What Are The Risks Of Recurrent Hip Dislocations?

A one-off case of a Dislocated Hip may not be a cause of concern for an individual. The problem starts if the individual starts having recurrent episodes of Dislocated Hip with even trivial activities like moving light furniture from one place to another. This is a cause for concern and a consultation with an orthopedist is recommended for such cases. Frequent hip dislocations may result in development of arthritis of the hip and may result in damage to the sciatic nerve causing persistent numbness in the leg and foot.

There may be some loose fragments of bone within the hip joint which may have to be removed surgery. In some cases, damage to the nerves or vessels as a result of recurrent Dislocated Hip may cause a complete cut off of blood supply to the hip bone which could lead to bone necrosis. This may make the hip joint more unstable and make the individual prone to frequent episodes of Dislocated Hip.

What Are Some Tips To Prevent Recurrent Hip Dislocations?

Once you have had a Dislocated Hip then following the below mentioned precautions can help you prevent having further episodes of Dislocated Hip. The precautions are:

Sit with the back straight for up to six weeks post injury. Try and avoid crossing the legs. You also need to avoid leaning forwards while sitting in a chair.

Try and keep the knee apart and try and avoid twisting the knees. You can place a pillow between the knees when sitting or lying down. Also you need to avoid lifting the knee higher than the hips for around six weeks post a Dislocated Hip.

Try and avoid sitting on a low chair so as to not put pressure on the hip joint for up to six weeks after the dislocation event. Also you need to avoid bending the waist to pick things from the floor. Try and bend on the knees to prevent any further episodes of a Dislocated Hip.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 28, 2019

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