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The Injury Clinic - The Maualuga Injury

Rey Maualuga punched his ticket in joining the injury list this past weekend with a hip pointer.

This is not an uncommon injury in football or soccer players and it can be painful to the injured player and unsightly to those who see the nasty bruise because of it.

Hip Pointer with an Avulsion Fracture
What is a Hip Pointer?

A hip pointer is an injury to the pelvis caused by a direct blow, often seen in contact sports such as football. The term hip pointer is somewhat confusing. It can refer to a deep bruise of the muscle and bone, a small chip fracture or even a complete break. Typically, however, this term refers to a severe bruise and not a fracture.

What happens when an athlete gets a hip pointer?

A hip pointer is an injury is to the iliac crest, the bony prominence that can be felt along the waist line. Spearing the hip/pelvis with a helmet while tackling may be the most common cause.When someone sustains a hip pointer injury, the bone and overlying muscle can be bruised.

In more serious cases of hip pointer, the hit can be so severe that a fracture of the bone results. While the treatment may not change, a fracture will likely cause a delay in healing and more painful symptoms.


The patient may walk with a limp and have difficulty moving the hip away from the body against resistance. X-rays are taken to rule out fractures. Occasionally, further studies may be indicated if the patient's symptoms do not improve with treatment.


Treatment of a hip pointer is best accomplished with rest. Ice applications and anti-inflammatory medication will also help, but only time will heal the injury. Again, X-rays may be taken if a fracture is suspected.

Surgery is very rarely indicated. It is usually reserved for patients with significant displacement of fractures of bone where the muscles attach around the pelvis.

Click Here to see a picture of the injury.

Information taken from and