- Injury to a bone, muscle, joint or ligament of the hip and upper thigh
Types of Injuries
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Dislocations (bone out of joint)
- Sprains - Stretches and tears of ligaments
- Strains - Stretches and tears of muscles (pulled muscle)
- Contusion (bruise) - A direct blow or crushing injury resulting in bruising of the skin, muscle, and underlying bone
See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one) If
FIRST AID Advice for Bleeding: Apply direct pressure to the entire wound with a clean cloth.
FIRST AID Advice for Penetrating Object: If penetrating object still in place, don't remove it (Reason: removal could increase bleeding).
FIRST AID Advice for Shock: Lie down with feet elevated.
Should I Call?
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR
Call 911 Now (you may need an ambulance) If
- Major bleeding (actively bleeding or spurting) that can't be stopped
- Injury looks like a dislocated joint (crooked or deformed)
- You can't stand (bear weight) or walk
- Note: For bleeding, see First Aid
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- You think you have a serious injury
- Severe pain
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
- You think you need to be seen
- There is a large swelling or bruise (wider than 2 inches) at the site of the injury
- You are limping
- You are over age 54, have osteoporosis, or use steroid medications routinely
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- You have other questions or concerns
- Injury interferes with work or school
- Injury and pain have not improved after 3 days
- Injury is still painful and swollen after 2 weeks
Self Care at Home If
- Minor bruise
- Minor strained (pulled) muscle or sprained (stretched) ligament
Care at Home
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR BRUISE, SPRAIN OR STRAIN
- Treatment of Bruise (e.g., direct blow to hip area):
- Apply a cold pack or an ice bag (wrapped in a towel) for 20 minutes each hour for 4 consecutive hours. (20 minutes of cold followed by 40 minutes of rest for 4 hours in a row).
- 48 hours after the injury, use local heat for 10 minutes 3 times each day to help reabsorb the blood.
- Rest the injured part as much as possible for 48 hours.
- Treatment of Sprains and Strains of Hip and Upper Thigh:
- FIRST AID - Apply an ice pack (crushed ice in a plastic bag covered with a towel) to reduce bleeding, swelling, and pain.
- REST the injured leg for 24 hours. You may return to normal activity after 24 hours of rest if the activity does not cause pain.
- Continue to apply crushed ICE packs for 10-20 minutes every hour for the first 4 hours. Then apply ice for 10-20 minutes 4 times a day for the first two days.
- Keep injured leg ELEVATED and at rest for 24 hours. Put your leg up on a pillow and stay off your feet as much as possible.
- Pain Medicines:
- Expected Course: Pain and swelling usually begin to improve 2 or 3 days after an injury. Swelling is usually gone in 7 days. Pain may take 2 weeks to completely resolve.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Pain does not improve after 3 days
- Pain or swelling lasts more than 2 weeks
- You become worse
And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Bruise on Thigh (1 Day Old)
This bruise is one day old.
Bruises (contusions) result from a direct blow or a crushing injury; there is bleeding into the skin from damaged blood vessels without an overlying cut or abrasion.
X-Ray - Normal Hip
X-Ray - Hip Fracture
Surgery is required to fix this type of fracture (broken hip bone).
This elderly lady fell while at home landing on her right hip. She immediately noted moderate-severe pain in the hip and an inability to stand. She was transported via ambulance to the emergency department.
- The photograph shows shortening and rotational deformity of the hip.
- Her x-ray demonstrated a hip fracture (broken hip).
Anatomy - Hip
Source: LMS Inc.
Copyright 2000-2012. Self Care Decisions, LLC. Used by Permission.
Author and Senior Reviewer: David A. Thompson, M.D. Clinical content review provided by Senior Reviewer and Healthpoint Medical Network.
Last Review Date: 11/18/2011
Last Revised: 11/18/2011
Content Set: Adult HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Version Year: 2012
Portions Copyright 2000-2012 Self Care Decisions LLC; Copyright LMS, Inc.