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3 Common Hip Injuries Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

Injuries following a motor vehicle accident (MVA) should be taken seriously, especially those related to the hip. Delaying treatment can lead to future problems, like osteoporosis. If you or someone you know has sustained any of the injuries presented below, arranging an appointment with an orthopedic specialist should be a priority.

Common Injury #1: A Dislocated Hip

Accident related hip dislocations are usually caused by the knee being forced into the dashboard, which causes a displacement of the hip. Individuals who experience a dislocation will know it immediately as they will feel their hip pop “out of place” and will have onset of immediate and significant pain. It’s likely that walking or even standing will be very difficult. Because of this, emergency treatment is necessary. If there’s an associated fracture, which is likely, surgical intervention might be necessary.


Illustration 1– An x-ray of a severely dislocated hip


Common Injury #2: A Hip Fracture

The hip is a joint composed of the head of the femur (ball) and pelvic acetabulum (socket). Forceful impact in a collision can fracture either or both bones. Surgery is most likely indicted and will often involve instrumentation to secure the bones in place.  If a fracture isn’t severe, and non-displaced non-surgical treatment options, such as pain medications, physical therapy, and activity modification, can be used.

Illustration 2– Instrumentation such as screws can be used to reduce, compress, and fixate a hip fracture, allowing for a more rapid return to full activity.


Common Injury #3: A Strain or Sprain

Hip muscle strains or ligament sprains are common after an MVA. Both injuries are far less severe than a dislocation or fracture, yet, medical attention is still required. Pain, swelling, inflammation, and decreased range of motion are all common symptoms that, when left untreated, can lead to decreased mobility and long term reduction of function. Treatment for strains and sprains can include:

  • – Anti-inflammatory medications, including oral steroids
  • –  Physical therapy
  • – Activity modification
  • – Injection treatment


In most cases, when treated appropriately, strains and sprains will heal within a relatively short period of time.

Contacting an Orthopedic Specialist

Proper and prompt treatment of an MVA related hip injury should be given top priority. Contact one of our 5 Fairfield County offices to arrange an appointment with one of our specialists. Their knowledge, experience, and skills will be put to use to accurately diagnose and put in place an effective treatment plan. When in the right hands, a full recovery is entirely possible.