Dislocation of Hip

The dislocation of femoral head (ball) from the socket (acetabulum) is known as hip dislocation. The cause of dislocation can be any injury or a trauma. Dislocation of the hip is a dangerous and extremely painful condition and also a medical emergency. It can also damage the surrounding structures like ligaments, vessels that carry blood, muscles, and other structures. AVN of the hip is a severe complication of dislocation. Dislocation leads to sciatica nerve damage.


  • Vehicular accident
  • Any severe athletic injury
  • Fall from height
  • A lax joint is more prone to dislocation


  • Posterior Dislocation: This is the most common type of dislocation seen in around 90% of the patients. The femur head comes out of the socket towards the buttock.
  • Anterior Dislocation: When the femoral head slips forward from the socket, this type of dislocation is known as anterior dislocation. This type of dislocation occurs usually during a bent position of the hip joint.


  • A person with a dislocated hip has restricted movement of the leg
  • Position of the leg either inwards or outwards
  • Affected leg looks a little shorter
  • Difficulty in leg movement
  • Diminished or complete sensation loss in ankle and the foot


  • Physical examination: It is visible with hip and leg positioning and the acetabulum of the femur will be not in its place
  • X-ray: Shows the wrong position of the femur bone ( out from the socket)
  • MRI: Being a more specific investigation, the soft tissues are also visible


This is an emergency condition and needs to be fixed within 6 hours, otherwise it will damage the other structures like blood vessels and can disturb the flow of the blood towards the leg and foot.

  • Closed reduction of the dislocated hip joint (reposition the femur head in the socket), in this procedure the doctor will give anesthesia and then perform the close reduction
  • In most cases, the close reduction is achievable but in few cases where close reduction is difficult and there are injuries along with the dislocation that require an open surgery to fix the hip

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