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Common hip injuries and conditions

Diagnosis of common hip injuries and conditions

If you get injured, such as from a fall or automobile accident, and then experience hip pain, your doctor will likely use a detailed medical history and physical exam to check your range of motion.

Following a physical exam, your doctor will use imaging tests like x-rays to check for signs of bone fracture. He or she may also use MRI with or without contrast dye, or CT scan, to examine the soft tissues of your hip joint. In some cases, your doctor may order a bone scan, where dye is injected and then images are taken. A “contrast” scan provides more detail and can reveal smaller injuries, such as hairline fractures.

If your hip pain came on gradually, or you have risk factors for conditions like arthritis, cancer, or gout, your doctor may turn to blood tests to examine the joint space and rule out other conditions.


Your specific hip condition or injury, as well as your medical history, will determine your treatment options.

Many hip conditions and injuries respond well to nonsurgical treatments, including rest, modifying activities, and anti-inflammatory medication. Physical therapy can help relieve pain and restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion to your hip. Physical therapy can also prevent hip problems in the future.

Other common treatments for hip injuries include traction, nerve blocks, and resting to avoid increasing the strain on the joint.

Hip fractures, and sometimes dislocations, usually require surgical treatment. In some cases, a hip replacement, where all or part of the joint is removed and replaced with a synthetic or animal joint, is the best option to treat your hip.

Dignity Health offers comprehensive care for hip conditions and injuries as part of our orthopedic services.


After a hip injury, regaining strength and mobility can take time. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist to help you learn exercises to speed up your recovery.

Depending on the type of injury, you may experience pain following the injury. Your doctor can recommend treatments to help manage any lingering discomfort.

Major operations such as hip replacement can take several months to recover from. However, in many cases you can find relief from symptoms within a few weeks of treatment, depending on the underlying injury and its cause as well as your age and overall health. Your doctor will help you understand your prognosis and what to expect as you recover from a hip injury

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.