A hip injury can be hard to deal with, both for the child who has the injury and for the parent or caregiver. A child who has a hip injury may feel pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or knee. A child in pain may limp or be unable or unwilling to stand, walk, or move the injured hip. A baby in pain may cry, be fussy, and have other signs of pain.
To better understand hip injuries, it may be helpful to know how the hip works. It is the largest ball-and-socket joint in the body. The thigh bone (femur) fits tightly into a cup-shaped socket (acetabulum) in the pelvis. The hip joint is tighter and more stable than the shoulder joint but it does not move as freely. The hip joint is held together by muscles in the buttock, groin, and spine; tendons; ligaments; and a joint capsule. Several fluid-filled sacs (bursae) cushion and lubricate the hip joint and let the tendons and muscles glide and move smoothly. The largest nerve in the body (sciatic nerve) passes through the pelvis into the leg.
A sudden (acute) injury may occur from a fall on a hip, a direct blow to a hip or knee, or abnormal twisting or bending of the leg. Acute injuries include:
Treatment for a hip injury depends on the location, type, and severity of the injury as well as the child's age, general health, and activity level. Treatment may include first aid measures; application of a brace, cast, harness, or traction; physiotherapy; medicines; or surgery.
Check your child's symptoms to decide if and when your child should see a doctor.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
Major trauma is any event that can cause very serious injury, such as:
With severe bleeding, any of these may be true:
With moderate bleeding, any of these may be true:
With mild bleeding, any of these may be true:
Pain in children 3 years and older
Pain in children under 3 years
It can be hard to tell how much pain a baby or toddler is in.
When an area turns blue, very pale, or cold, it can mean that there has been a sudden change in the blood supply to the area. This can be serious.
There are other reasons for colour and temperature changes. Bruises often look blue. A limb may turn blue or pale if you leave it in one position for too long, but its normal colour returns after you move it. What you are looking for is a change in how the area looks (it turns blue or pale) and feels (it becomes cold to the touch), and this change does not go away.
Shock is a life-threatening condition that may occur quickly after a sudden illness or injury.
Symptoms of shock in a child may include:
Symptoms of infection may include:
Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system's ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in children are:
Based on your answers, you need emergency care.
or other emergency services now.
Put direct, steady pressure on the wound until help arrives. Keep the area raised if you can.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, you need emergency care.
Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.
Home treatment may help relieve your child's hip pain, swelling, and stiffness. If your child will co-operate, use the following tips. If your child becomes upset or will not co-operate, do not force your child.
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
If your child has a cast, see cast care tips.
Call your child's doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
The following tips may prevent the chance of hip injuries.
Establish good safety habits early so that your child will continue them when he or she is older.
Injuries may occasionally be a sign of abuse. You may be able to prevent further abuse by reporting it and seeking help.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your child's condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofMarch 20, 2017
Current as of: March 20, 2017
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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