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Common Injuries


Maj Spencer
Potential hip injuries can include strains, dislocations, or fractures. Captain Laydon, can you tell us about some of these injuries?

Capt Laydon
Absolutely, Major Spencer. A hip strain occurs when one of the muscles supporting the hip joint is stretched beyond its limit, and in severe cases, actually tears. Both muscles and tendons may be injured in a hip strain, and strains often happen near the point where the muscle and the tendon connect. Strains can be the result of a traumatic event, such as a fall or direct blow during a sports activity, or they can be caused by overuse.

A hip dislocation is an extremely painful injury. In fact, it’s a serious medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. Dislocation means the femoral head – the ball – has been forced out of the acetabulum – the socket. Dislocations can be posterior, where the femur is pushed backwards out of the socket, or anterior, where the femur is pushed forward. The vast majority of hip dislocations are posterior. Car collisions and falls from significant heights are common causes of a dislocated hip, so it’s not surprising that other injuries, such as fractured or broken bones, often accompany a dislocation.

A fracture or break can happen to any of the bones in or around the hip joint, but properly speaking, a hip fracture is a break in the upper quarter of the femur. Hip fractures are most commonly caused by a fall or direct blow to the side of the hip, but some medical conditions can weaken the bones and make the hip more susceptible to breaking. These conditions include osteoporosis, cancer, and stress injuries. Osteoporosis is a common condition among older people that causes bones to become porous.