Hip Dislocation Specialist

Hip dislocations typically occur as a result of severe trauma, such as car accidents or falls from significant heights. They happen when the head of the femur is forced out of its socket in the pelvic bone, often leading to intense pain and mobility issues.

  • Have you sustained a hip injury recently? Consult our MOH-accredited hip dislocation specialist immediately for a personalised treatment plan.
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Dr Poh Seng Yew

MBBS

MRCSEd

MMED (Ortho)

FRCSEd

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What is Hip Dislocation?

Hip dislocation occurs when the ball of the femoral head, located at the top of the thigh bone, is forcefully dislodged from its socket in the pelvis, known as the acetabulum. The hip, being a ball-and-socket joint, is designed for both stability and a wide range of movement, making a dislocation a severe disruption to its normal function.

Causes of Hip Dislocation

The primary cause of hip dislocation is usually a traumatic injury, often requiring a large force.

  • Trauma from Motor Vehicle Accidents
    The most common scenario is where the knee forcefully impacts the dashboard during a collision, exerting enough pressure to displace the hip joint.
  • Falls from Height
    High-impact falls can generate the necessary force to cause dislocation, particularly falls from heights.
  • Forceful Collisions during Sports
    Engaging in high-contact sports such as rugby or football can sometimes lead to hip dislocations due to forceful collisions or impacts.

Symptoms and Signs

Identifying the symptoms and signs of hip dislocation can help lead to timely and effective treatment.


  • Severe Pain: Severe pain is the most immediate and noticeable symptom.
  • Inability to Move or Bear Weight: Affected individuals often find it impossible to move their leg or walk.
  • Visible Displacement of the Leg: The leg may appear out of place, often rotated inward or outward, indicating a dislocated hip.
  • Swelling or Discoloration: These signs can occur around the hip joint, suggesting trauma to the area.
  • Muscle Spasms: This involuntary contraction can be a reaction to intense pain and injury.
  • Loss of Sensation in the Leg: In some cases, there may be a loss of sensation or feeling in the leg, signalling potential nerve damage.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of a hip dislocation involves a combination of physical examination and imaging tests.

  • Physical Examination
    A hip specialist can often diagnose the condition by observing the position of the leg and checking for any nerve or blood vessel injuries.
  • Imaging Tests
    X-rays are used to confirm the dislocation. In certain cases, additional imaging such as CT scans or MRIs may be necessary to assess the extent of the injury and to check for associated conditions like fractures, ligament tears, or cartilage damage.

Hip dislocation is a medical emergency requiring urgent care. Early activation of emergency medical services can help minimise long-term damage.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

When a hip dislocation does not involve severe associated injuries and can be managed without surgical intervention, non-surgical treatment options are available.

Closed Reduction

This procedure is used in cases where hip dislocation is the sole injury present. Closed reduction involves manually repositioning the dislocated hip back into its socket. It typically requires anaesthetic or sedative administration to alleviate pain and relax muscles during the procedure.

It should be done as soon as possible, to reduce damage to the cartilage surfaces of the joint and to maintain functionality of the femoral head.

Surgical Treatment Options

In cases where non-surgical methods are insufficient or when the hip dislocation is accompanied by more complex injuries, surgical intervention may be necessary.

Open Reduction

This procedure is employed when a closed reduction is unsuccessful or if there are associated fractures. Open reduction involves surgically exposing the hip joint to properly align and secure the dislocated bones.

Hip Stabilisation Surgery

Particularly in cases of recurrent dislocations or in individuals with hip dysplasia, surgical procedures may be undertaken to stabilise the hip joint. This can involve the use of screws, plates, or other hardware to secure the joint.

Prevention Strategies

Preventing hip dislocation involves a combination of safety measures, conditioning, and special care in certain cases.


  • Minimising Risk of Hip Injury: In vehicles, always use seatbelts to minimise the risk of injury during accidents. Use protective gear when participating in contact sports or engaging in activities with fall risks.
  • Prevent Falling and Injury at Home and the Workplace: Implement safety protocols in industrial workplaces, particularly where heavy machinery is used. At home, take precautions to prevent falls, especially in high-risk environments like bathrooms or on stairs.
  • Strengthen the Hip Muscles and Ligaments: Regular exercise to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the hip joint, especially for individuals with a history of hip dislocation or those with conditions like hip dysplasia.
  • Managing Underlying Conditions: Early and appropriate management of conditions like hip dysplasia, particularly in children, to prevent future dislocations.

Schedule An Appointment With Us

Have You Sustained A Hip Injury Recently?

Consult our MOH-accredited hip dislocation specialist for a personalised treatment plan.

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Dr Poh Seng Yew

MBBS

MRCSEd

MMED (Ortho)

FRCSEd

With over 18 years of experience, Dr Poh Seng Yew is an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hip, knee, shoulder and elbow surgery, sports medicine, and trauma surgery.

  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), National University of Singapore
  • Member, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCSEd)
  • Master of Medicine (Orthopaedic Surgery), National University of Singapore
  • Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, FRCSEd (Orthopaedic Surgery)
  • Clinical Hip and Sports Medicine Fellow, Orthopädische Chirurgie München (OCM), Germany

 

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Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road, #08-62/63
Singapore 329563
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Weekdays: 9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturdays: 9.00am – 1.00pm
Sundays and Public Holidays: Closed

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Your injury shouldn’t affect your quality of life or disrupt daily activities. Reach out to our friendly clinic staff today & schedule a consultation.




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    Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
    38 Irrawaddy Road, #08-62/63
    Singapore 329563

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    How Long Does a Hip Take to Heal After a Dislocation?

    The recovery time after a hip dislocation varies, depending on the injury’s severity, the patient’s age and their overall health. Generally, a few months is the usual recovery timeline, although it may extend longer if there are additional complications such as fractures. Rehabilitation, including physical therapy, plays a role in restoring range of motion and strength to the hip joint.

    What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a Hip Dislocation?

    Long-term consequences of a hip dislocation depend on the injury’s severity and may include nerve damage, osteonecrosis (also known as avascular necrosis), and osteoarthritis. Chronic pain, instability, mobility issues, and muscle weakness are also possible. Timely and appropriate treatment by our hip specialists can avoid these complications. Reach out to us for a personalised treatment plan.

    Can a Hip Dislocation Recur?

    The risk of a hip dislocation recurring is higher in individuals who have previously experienced dislocation or have conditions that increase dislocation risk, such as hip dysplasia or cerebral palsy. The longer a hip dislocation remains untreated, the more likely the joint will destabilise, increasing the risk of future injuries. Consult our hip specialist promptly for timely treatment and effective management.

    What Should I Avoid After Hip Dislocation?

    After a hip dislocation, avoid activities that put undue stress on the hip joint. This includes certain movements, heavy lifting, and high-impact activities. Adhering to the rehabilitation plan and following the guidance of your hip specialist can help lead to a safe and effective recovery.

    Can You Still Walk with a Dislocated Hip?

    Walking with a dislocated hip is typically not possible due to the severe pain and the inability of the joint to function correctly. Immediate medical attention is necessary for proper treatment and to prevent further damage or complications. Our hip specialist is equipped to provide the necessary care and guidance for such conditions.