How to put the hip joint back in alignment

Updated July 18, 2017

When the ball of the hip joint pops out of its socket, a hip dislocation occurs. The hip is typically a very stable joint; so a large amount of force is necessary to dislocate your hip. Hip dislocations are very painful. Symptoms of a hip dislocation include: swelling and pain in the area that is injured; difficulty walking or moving in a normal manner; and obvious deformity in the dislocated area.

Vehicle accidents are the main reason for hip dislocations. In children, athletic injuries can cause the hip to dislocate because their bones and joints are not as strong as an adult's. Babies can be born with congenital hip dislocations; one out of every 60 newborns has a hip dislocation.

It is important that a hip dislocation be treated within six hours; otherwise avascular necrosis of the femoral (thigh) head or osteoarthritis can occur. Avascular necrosis happens when bones or joints actually die. Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that causes the deterioration of joint cartilage and other joint tissues.

Go to the emergency room if you suspect you have a dislocated hip. Ask for an X-ray or MRI to determine if your hip has been dislocated. The doctor will do a physical examination and take a complete medical history from you. He will want to know how your injury occurred.

Ask your doctor if he will use an Allis Manuever to reposition your hip. In this case, your doctor will apply physical force to do this. You will be sedated for this procedure. Your hip and knee will be flexed to a 90-degree angle and the doctor will force the hip back into its proper position. Your doctor may use an X-ray to help him guide the hip back into place.

Ask your doctor if you should have Stimson Manuever. If so, your doctor will sedate you and apply force to put the hip back into its socket. Your doctor will do this with your dislocated leg hanging over the edge of the bed while he manoeuvres the hip back into its socket. X-rays may be taken and used to help guide the doctor during this procedure.

If your doctor cannot reset your hip by manually asserting force on the hip, you may need to have the hip surgically replaced.

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About the Author

Jacqueline Trovato is a published writer with more than 25 years' experience in marketing communications and public relations. She specializes in health care communications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education with a minor in psychology from James Madison University.