The hip, like any other bone in the body can be injured. Examples include automobile accidents, workplace injury or sports related activity. Some injuriesof the hip are related to age or just regular wear and tear of the hip joint over time. Osteoporosis, where bone mass is lost over time, is a good example of non-traumatic hip injury.
Below are some common injuries of the hip.
Broken hip. A hip can be broken, this is usually referred to as a fracture. Most hip fractures occur in older adults, typically, over the age of 65. Osteoporosis is a strong determining factor in hip fractures as the bone is weak and prone to breaking. At times, it takes very little for the bone to break. A slight fall, bump or activity can be all it takes to break the hip. It usually, takes a more substantial accident to break the hip of a younger adult.
Bursitis. We have all heard this term, but what is bursitis? Bones need lubrication in order to comfortably slide or move without pain. There are fluid-filled sacs in the joints that help this move, they are called, bursae. Inflammation or swelling of the bursa results in bursitis, specifically, pain and aching in the hip and on the outside of the thigh. Regular movement such as walking can be very painful as it irritates the swollen bursae.
Dislocation. When the top of the femur pops out of the socket of the pelvis, this is called a dislocation. The result is pain and an inability to use the leg. The only solution is to put the ball of the femur back into the socket. Some people are born with shallow sockets and tend to dislocate more frequently than others. Still others, are born with childhood deformities that result in dislocation. It usually takes a strong force – from an automobile accident or severe fall, for example – to cause a dislocated hip.
Labral tear. When the cartilage that surrounds the socket in the pelvis rips, it is referred to as a labral tear. The tear can result from repetitive activity, injury or osteoarthritis.
Snapping hip syndrome. This is an interesting name for a condition where bands of connective tissue that support the hip thicken and catch as they slide back and forth across the top end of the femur. This may lead to swelling and pain. We see this most often in athletes who actively and repetitively use the hip in their sport such as ballet dancers, gymnasts, runners, weightlifters, hockey and soccer players.
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