Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

Hey what do you think might be causing my hip pain? I did dislocate it 2 months ago but the emergency crew put it back in place and the X-ray shows it's still there. But I have deep aching pain and the whole thing locks up on me from time to time. I'm not sure where to go with this one.

Answer:

Hip dislocations can be mild to severe requiring anything from closed reduction. to open surgery to put it back in place. Many times there is damage to the soft tissues of the hip. The labrum is one area that can be torn without knowing it right off. The labrum is the fibrous rim of cartilage around the hip socket. As the hip dislocates (anteriorly/forward or posteriorly/backwards there can be enough force to pull the labrum away from the bone. There can also be damage to the cartilage around the head of the femur (round end of the upper thigh bone) and/or the acetabular (socket) side of the joint. When pieces of bone or cartilage are left floating around inside the joint, symptoms such as you described may be the underlying cause. Even when X-rays and CT scans are negative, a look inside the joint is still recommended when pain and loss of motion persist after hip reduction. Floating fragments of bone or cartilage can be present that don't show up on imaging studies. Arthroscopy may also be needed to see other damage such as tears of the ligamentum teres (the ligament holding the head of the femur in the middle of the socket). If this ligament isn't repaired or restored, the femoral head won't stay in the center of the socket. You may have none of these problems but the only way to find out is to see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation. Sooner is better than later as uneven wear and deformity of the hip joint from these complications can lead to degeneration and osteoarthritic changes. Studies show that hip osteoarthritis is more likely to develop if and when loose fragments are left in the joint after the dislocation has been reduced. Victor M. Ilizaliturri, Jr, MD, et al. Hip Arthroscopy After Traumatic Hip Dislocation. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. July 2011. Vol. 39. Supplement 4. Pp. S505-S515.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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