Painful popping hip/serious fall

by Roland

Always have someone hold the ladder.

Always have someone hold the ladder.

Painful popping hip/serious fall.

Hello, I am a fairly healthy, 33 year old male. I am 5' 9", 135 pounds. I suffered a traumatic fall from about 4 or 5 feet high, in which I fell directly on my left hip onto concrete. There was significant pain and hardly any ROM without pain for about 2-3 weeks. I visited my chiro who took x-rays and told me no fracture and that it looked like I have decent space between the femur and pelvis. Now, several months later, I am still experiencing popping/snapping when I bend my knee toward my chest or swing the knee outward. After the popping/grinding sounds, it becomes inflamed and stiff. My usual health care provider doesn't think there is much of a problem, but I am an athlete and this is causing me a great deal of concern. What do you think is going on? Thank you for your time.

Hello Roland,
If the xray was taken within a few days of the fall, I'd have another done; often, until there is significant swelling in the crack, it's not seen. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have your chiro look at the xray again, and perhaps ask a colleague to confirm there is no fracture. Even the best miss things. Pubic bone fractures are very difficult to see.

What's more than likely is that the labrum has been damaged, and that unfortunately won't be seen except on a scan.

That popping sound suggests that the ball is subluxating in the socket. Did you consult your chiro just once? I would have thought a series of mobilisations would be necessary with the symptoms and signs continuing like this.

I'm surprised your doctor doesn't think it's a problem with the range of motion so severely affected.

Perhaps it's time to insist on an orthopaedic consultation.

Meantime try to exercise it gently within the painfree range of motion.

I hope this contributes; let me know how you get on. I'm curious.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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