Hip Injuries Sustained from a Slip and Fall
The hips are one of the most commonly damaged parts of the body during a slip and fall accident. Your hips are among the widest part of your frame and often take the most impact as you land. The following are some common hip injuries.
Strains, Sprains and TearsLike any part of your body, there are several ligaments, tendons, and muscles that surround your hip bones and allow movement. These soft tissues are designed to stretch and contract, but any unnatural excess movement could result in a strained tendon, torn muscle, or sprained ligament. A strain occurs to muscles and tendons when they are stretched beyond normal range of motion. If the soft tissue is stretched too far it will tear. Symptoms of a strain or tear include pain, weakness, and swelling. A sprain is a type of damage to the ligaments that connect the bones at the hip joint. The symptoms of sprains are similar to strains and tears, and you may hear or feel a popping or tearing when you fall.
DislocationsA dislocated hip may cause extreme pain and difficulty or even an inability to walk. When the hip joint is dislocated, the top of the femur falls out of alignment with the hip socket in the pelvis. If it harms nerves in the area, it may lead to loss of feeling in the foot or ankle, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). This type of injury must be treated immediately so the hip can be realigned. Dislocations most often occur when a person falls hard directly on one side of the hip, placing the most impact on a single femur and hip socket. Strains, sprains and tears of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles may also occur with a severe dislocation.
FracturesEven though the pelvic and femur bones of the hip are some of the strongest in the body, they are still susceptible to fractures. A hip fracture is considered a fracture that occurs in the upper quarter of the femur, according to the AAOS. Fractures can cause extreme pain, swelling, bruising, and numbness or tingling. It may cause the hip and leg to become out of place or difficult to move. Like dislocations, they may occur due to direct impact on the hip during a fall.
Treatments and Long-term DamageSome injuries such as strains, sprains and minor fractures may heal on their own with time, rest, ice, and medication to treat inflammation and pain. Other injuries like dislocations, tears or fractures may require surgery to reposition or stabilize the damaged parts. In severe cases of fractures or hip dislocation, a hip replacement may be necessary if the hip joint was severely damaged. Any surgery to the hips will require weeks of rest and recovery and often requires physical therapy. The surgery to add metal hardware to stabilize a hip bone or mend a torn muscle may painful. Expect to be out of commission from work for at least several weeks. There is often a risk of permanent physical damage including a shift in gait, weakness in one or both hips, and chronic pain. Even after these injuries heal, any abnormality from the injury could lead to long-term effects.