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I fell on my hip: Bruised Hip: Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes

Bruised Hip: Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes


An injured hip can leave a bruise. A bruise occurs when the small blood vessels tear, but the skin doesn’t break. This causes the blood to leak into the surrounding soft tissue and muscle, which leads to the discoloration underneath the skin.

A bruise is often reddish in color when it’s fresh and turns blue or purple within a few hours. After a few days, a bruise usually turns yellow or green as it heals.

Read on to learn how to treat a bruised hip, when to see your doctor, and more.

The most obvious symptom of a bruised hip is the skin discoloration.

Other symptoms may not develop for up to 48 hours after the injury to your hip has occurred. The affected hip may feel stiff. You could have difficulty moving it, like when walking.

Pain often increases if any pressure is applied to the bruise. You might have swelling in the area or even a lump at or near the bruise site. The bruise itself often feels tender.

The most common cause of a bruised hip is a fall, but any injury to the hip can lead to a bruise. Other causes of a bruised hip can include:

  • banging into an object
  • being kicked
  • being hit with a large object
  • experiencing a hip strain
  • experiencing a hip fracture

Your doctor can diagnose a bruised hip by examining it. They may also use an MRI scan to determine the depth and extent of the bruise.

However, since bruises usually heal without treatment within a few days, you might choose not to visit your doctor.

But if pain is severe or it’s very difficult to move your hip, it’s important that you do go and see your doctor. They can check to ensure that your hip or leg isn’t in fact broken. To do this, your doctor will use an X-ray to confirm a diagnosis.

Call 911 or your local emergency services if:

  • You’re in too much pain to move.
  • You’re unable to put any weight on your hip.
  • You have numbness in your leg or toes.

These symptoms suggest a serious injury that needs immediate medical attention. Any attempt to move in these circumstances could worsen your injury.

The length of time it’ll take to recover varies depending upon the severity of your injury and the depth of the contusion. It may take as long as two to four weeks to recover fully. You can return to normal activities as soon as you feel able.

Don’t massage, heat, or stretch your injured muscles while you’re recovering. Doing so can hinder healing. Avoid or limit any alcohol use during recovery as well. Alcohol can also slow healing.

A bruised hip can occur after any traumatic injury to the area. If the injury results in a bruise alone, a full recovery should be made quite soon.

Home remedies and OTC medications can help you heal. See your doctor if your pain doesn’t decrease after home treatment, or if you have any questions about your symptoms.

The 6 Most Common Hip Injuries from Falling

  • Hip


One of the most common injuries in seniors is a hip fracture after suffering a fall. It tends to happen due to muscle weakness, balance problems, impaired vision, chronic illness, side effects from medications, or a wet bathtub or floor.

While hip injuries happen frequently and aging patients are more prone to these types of injuries, it’s important to note that younger patients aren’t immune to them.

The 6 Most Common Hip Injuries From Falling

1. Bursitis

Bursitis occurs when a person experiences inflamed bursa, which are lubricated fluid-filled sacs that serve as cushions between the joints. Typical symptoms include tenderness of the hip, feeling warm to the touch, and feeling pain with movement or after prolonged periods of inactivity. In the case of infectious bursitis, the patient may also develop a fever.

2. Labral tear

The labrum is the ring of cartilage that cushions the socket in your hip joint. When you experience a hip labral tear, you’ll likely feel pain that radiates to your groin, a clicking sensation, and a limited range of motion. One of its worst complications is osteoarthritis, which in turn, can cause bone spurs.

3. Dislocation

The hip is composed of a ball-and-socket joint, where the head of the femur (the thigh bone) goes into the socket in the pelvis. Dislocation occurs when trauma (such as a fall) causes the femoral head (the “ball” portion) to come out of the socket. When this happens, the person experiences acute pain. Depending on the severity of the damage, the doctor may be able to manipulate the patient’s bone back into place without the need for surgery. However, certain instances do require surgical intervention. And just as with labral tears, one of its complications could be osteoarthritis, as well as damage to the sciatic nerve, or avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to an interruption in blood flow).

4. Fracture

Most hip fractures require surgery. When a person experiences a hip fracture, they feel acute pain in their hip, groin, and upper thigh area. It happens often to senior adults, and it often results in the inability to continue living on their own. People with osteoporosis have a higher risk of fracturing their hip during a fall.

5. Hip strain

Hip strain injuries occur when the muscles and tendons surrounding the hip experience trauma, such as a hard hit during contact sports, a car crash, or a fall. Because these muscles extend over a person’s abdomen or gluteus, the pain may also radiate to these areas. Some athletes experience this type of injury more often than others and develop what’s known as athletic pubalgia. The most common symptom is pain when using those muscles and a limited range of motion.

Sometimes, the strain can be treated with simple home remedies, such as the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). However, more severe injuries may require physical therapy or even surgery if conservative remedies do not work.

6. Snapping Hip Syndrome

This condition gets its name from the snapping sound made when the patient gets up, walks, runs, or makes any other hip or leg movements. The sound is created by the iliotibial band (popularly known as the IT band), which is the tissue that connects hip muscles to the tibia (the bone between the knee and the ankles).

Snapping hip syndrome can sometimes be treated by icing the area, over-the-counter pain relievers, stretching exercises, or cortisone injections.

Risk Factors for Hip Injuries

As previously mentioned, age is one of the biggest risk factors for experiencing the kind of fall that will result in a serious hip injury. That being said, there are also the following:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Chronic illness
  • Gender (women tend to lose bone density at a faster rate than men)
  • Slippery rugs
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Icy sidewalks (yes, we live in Florida, but we also have plenty of snowbirds)
  • Clutter
  • Intense physical activity with no rest days
  • Participating in contact sports
  • Substantial alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

Request an Appointment for Hip Treatment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today

At the Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you recently fell and are experiencing hip pain or discomfort, let us help you get back to doing the things you love.

Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.

Contusion of the hip joint, hips, causes, symptoms and treatment

Contusion – mechanical damage to soft tissues in the area of ​​the hip joint and part of the lower limb, in which there are no significant violations of their structures. The skin, subcutaneous fatty tissue, periosteum, muscles are damaged, especially with a heavy blow, soft tissues suffer. Injuries happen to people of all ages and for a variety of reasons. They often occur in everyday life, during sports, when falling on their side, hitting, colliding. The most persistent symptoms are pain, swelling, limited mobility, and bruising. Orthopedists and traumatologists are engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of a bruised hip joint.



Only a qualified doctor can make an accurate diagnosis by determining the causes and nature of the disease, prescribing effective treatment.

Make an appointment with a doctor using the online form on the website or call

APRIL 2021

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Tissue damage in the hip joint, thigh occurs under the influence of a mechanical factor. A bruise can be received when falling, twisting a leg, from a blow with a blunt object, in conditions of industrial, domestic, sports, street injuries, traffic accidents, as a result of natural and industrial disasters, criminal incidents.

Article checked

Kuchenkov A.V.

Orthopedist • Traumatologist • Surgeon • Phlebologist • Sports doctor • 25 years of experience

Publication date: March 24, 2021

Review date: February 14, 2023

Article content


    9 0048 Diagnosis

    Diagnosis of contusion of the hip joint, hips are carried out by specialists from the field of traumatology and orthopedics. The doctor conducts an external examination, evaluates the extent and depth of the injury, the quality and amplitude of movements, and finds out the cause of the injury. To clarify the diagnosis with a bruise, to exclude bone pathology, radiography of the hip joint, femur is performed. The study allows you to confirm the integrity of the bones, determine the shape, size and structure of the joint under study, the consequences of injury. With insufficient information content of radiography, and for detailed planning of therapeutic measures, arthroscopy, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging are prescribed.

    Emergency care



    Consequences and complications

    Article checked

    Moskaleva V.V.

    Editor • Journalist • Experience 10 years

    We publish only verified information

    The materials posted on the site were written by authors with medical education and specialists from the CMRT company

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    Pelvic, hip and upper thigh injuries

    Pelvic, hip and upper thigh injuries

    Bruise (in Latin contusio) – closed, that is, not accompanied by a skin wound, damage to tissues and organs without a significant violation of their structure. This means that there are no ruptures or tears of tendons, muscles, ligaments and other soft tissue structures during a bruise. A bruise may be accompanied by damage to blood vessels, which, in turn, will lead to a hematoma, i.e. a true accumulation of blood in the cavity after an injury or a bruise (bruise), when the bruised tissues are evenly saturated with blood. A bruise at the site of a bruise usually appears as a blue-purple spot, the color of which gradually changes to greenish and yellow over several weeks. If we talk about bruises of the pelvis, hip joint and upper thigh, the soft tissues above the bony prominences are more likely to suffer. Most often, a bruise occurs in the region of the greater trochanter of the femur – the most protruding bone formation on the thigh, but a bruise can also be in the region of the iliac crest, a branch of the pubic bone, ischial tuberosity, or along the entire anterior-outer surface of the thigh.

    The cause of bruise is quite commonplace – a blow that occurs when falling, colliding in sports, traffic accidents, industrial injuries, etc.

    The main complaint is pain at the site of injury. At the same time, the ability to move the leg due to the absence of a violation of the structure of muscles, tendons, ligaments is preserved, but can be very painful.

    Treatment for is primarily aimed at relieving pain and maintaining strength and mobility in the joint until symptoms resolve. It is important to exclude other, more dangerous damage, which we will discuss below.

    Possible complications — subfascial hypertension syndrome, myositis ossificans.

    Typical bruises are located in the area of ​​bony prominences: front view

    Typical bruises are located in the area of ​​bony prominences: front view

    900 03


    Diagnosis of contusion of the pelvis, hip, hip joint can turn out to be not as simple as it seems, since other, outwardly imperceptible damage can occur during impacts. In any case, first tell your doctor about how the injury happened. After that, the doctor proceeds to the examination. Pain at the site of injury is aggravated by pressure and tension of nearby muscles. With bruises in the area of ​​the ischial tuberosity, the pain is limited only to the posterior thigh muscle group, and with bruises of the anterior surface of the thigh, the pain is limited to the quadriceps femoris muscle. Since almost all the muscles located here are involved in walking, lameness usually appears. Swelling or subcutaneous hemorrhage is possible. Sometimes pain occurs with passive movements of the leg, i.e. not when the patient moves his leg on his own, but when the doctor moves the patient’s leg. With passive movements in certain positions, the affected soft tissues or adjacent muscles are stretched, which leads to increased pain. Thus, bruises in the area of ​​the iliac crest are accompanied by pain with active abduction and passive adduction of the thigh, and bruises of the anterior surface of the thigh are manifested by pain with active extension of the lower leg and flexion of the thigh.

    Additional diagnostics may be required to rule out more serious problems. The injured are given x-rays, which allow distinguishing bruises from fractures visible on x-rays. First of all, it is necessary to exclude fractures of the femoral head, edges of the acetabulum, fractures of the femoral neck (fracture of the femoral neck), and trochanteric region.

    Of the other methods of radiation diagnostics, only magnetic resonance imaging provides valuable information. With its help, it is possible to detect hematoma, Morel-Lavallée syndrome (traumatic detachment of the skin and subcutaneous fat), muscle avulsion, rupture of the articular lip, stress fracture of the femoral neck and other small fractures missed during radiography. However, they resort to magnetic resonance imaging, as a rule, not immediately, but only when the usual conservative treatment does not give the expected results.

    There are no specific diagnostic tests for contusions. However, if there is severe swelling, especially in the upper thigh and gluteal region, it is necessary to make sure that subfascial hypertension syndrome (otherwise known as sheath syndrome) has not developed, that is, that there is no infringement of the affected muscles in their osteofascial beds. To do this, measure the pressure in these lodges. According to a number of recommendations, an increase in subfascial pressure up to 30 mm Hg. Art. or to a level less than 30 mm Hg. Art. below diastolic blood pressure is an indication for fasciotomy – an operation during which the fascia is cut, which reduces the pressure inside the fascial sheath. Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that even with such a high subfascial pressure, expectant management gives good results in some cases.


    Complications of contusions are rare. One of these complications is the already mentioned subfascial hypertension syndrome, accompanied by muscle fibrosis (gradual replacement by connective tissue) and a decrease in the range of motion. Another possible complication is the development of myositis ossificans, a condition in which ossificates form inside the muscles, i.e. areas of calcification, ossification. To prevent myositis ossificans, early mobilization (movements are necessary) of the victim is carried out and measures are taken to prevent the development of a hematoma. The formed hematoma may eventually calcify and become clearly visible on radiographs and computed tomograms. It is distinguished from soft tissue sarcoma by the x-ray picture and the presence of trauma in the past. Myositis ossificans develops in a centripetal direction: first, a belt of calcifications is formed, which then expands inward. If myositis does not cause complaints, you can ignore it; if it is accompanied by pain or a significant limitation of movement in the joints, then the newly formed bone masses are surgically removed after maturation. The maturation of ossificates occurs within a few months and is best determined using a special diagnostic method – scintigraphy.

    Myositis ossificans. Parts of the muscles “ossified” after a bruise

    It is important to mention another important condition that is not a complication of a bruise, but rather a special form of a bruise – the Morel-Lavallée syndrome (traumatic detachment of the skin and subcutaneous fat). This syndrome is covered in a separate article on our website.


    In the vast majority of cases, contusions of the hip, pelvis and hip joint are successfully treated conservatively, that is, without surgery. The goal of conservative treatment is to restore the full range and power of motion in the injured leg as quickly as possible. Treatment begins with conservative measures to combat pain and swelling. This includes rest, cold compresses, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Voltaren, Xefocam). If standing or walking causes pain, you can use crutches. After 1-2 days, leg mobility begins to be restored by passive muscle stretching exercises. You can immediately begin treatment with stretching the affected muscles, for which the leg is immobilized in an appropriate position – for example, when the upper part of the quadriceps femoris is bruised, the knee joint is often fixed in a bent position. Simultaneously with stretching the affected muscles, exercises are prescribed to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Gradually, the strength and mobility of the leg is restored, and the victim returns to sports.

    Bruises usually do not require surgery. Only in rare cases is it necessary to open a hematoma or perform a fasciotomy due to an increase in subfascial pressure.

    Severe edema and failure of conservative treatment indicate a possible large hematoma that prevents the bruise from quickly healing. In such cases, an MRI is performed and, based on its results, the issue of draining the hematoma is decided.


    The prognosis for most injuries is favorable, but it is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take to recover from an injury. It depends on the location and severity of the injury and the characteristics of the body.


    In young people bruises inevitably accompany playing sports, especially such hard sports as American football, hockey or rugby. It is hardly possible to completely prevent them, but some of them can be avoided with the help of protective equipment. Hockey players, for example, wear special protective shorts that protect the pelvis and hips from injury; similar shorts with sewn-in protective shields are also worn by American football players. Other pieces of protective equipment, such as shoulder pads, reduce the chance of bruising the other player’s pelvis and thigh when colliding with them. An important factor can also be the surface of the playing field. Thus, there is an opinion (not supported, however, by research data) that when playing on grass, there are fewer bruises than when playing on artificial turf.

    In the elderly bruises usually occur during falls. Remove rugs and electrical wires on the floor from where you will be walking. If it is not possible to remove carpets from the floor, make sure that the corners do not bend. Double-sided tape can be glued to the bottom surface of the corner of the carpet. Walk around your apartment or house with your relatives as a “sleuth” or security specialist: remove or double-sided tape the corners of all rugs so that they cannot be tripped over. If you have parquet at home, check all of its boards so that none of them fall out. If falls generally happen quite often due to various reasons, then especially pay special attention to safety.

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