Hip Dislocations – Anterior and Posterior Types – The Use of a Brace To Promote Healing

Have you ever dislocated your hip?

Or, do you know someone that has dislocated their hip?

1.) Introduction

Hip dislocations can be generally classified into one of two types, either congenital or traumatic in nature (anterior and posterior dislocation to be discussed later on).

A.) Congenital: The incidence of congenital hip dislocations is approximately 2-4 cases per every 1000 births. 80-85% of congenital cases will affect females. Hip dislocations that are congenital in nature are commonly the result of a femoral head or acetabular dysplasia.

B.) Traumatic Hip Dislocations: Traumatic, high energy dislocations that are caused by blunt force also happen in the adult community. In addition to natural hip joints, prosthetic hip joints may dislocate with far less force. When a dislocation of the hip joint occurs, it is considered to be an orthopedic emergency. Timely treatment may reduce the negative side effects of a hip dislocation of this kind.

2.) The Hip Joint

The hip is a joint is considered to be a ball-socket joint. The femoral head (top of the thigh bone) is normally situated deep within the acetabular socket. This is enhanced by the cartilaginous labrum that is present as well.

3.) Causes of Hip Dislocations

A.) MVC (Motor vehicle crashes) account for approximately two thirds of traumatic hip dislocations.

B.) Falls and sports injuries are also common reasons why people suffer from a hip dislocation.

4.) Anterior Dislocation

When an anterior disclocation occurs, the femoral head is located anterior (in front of) the acetabulum. The femoral head in these cases dislocates because of a hyperextension force (like bending your body back behind your legs) and an abducted leg (abduction is when the leg is away from midline).

5.) Posterior Dislocation

Posterior dislocations of the hip account for approximately 80-90% of hip dislocations that are associated with motor vehicle crashes. During a MVC, a force can strike a flexed knee that hits the dashboard. This will then send a force up the femur to the hip. If however, the leg is straight and the knee is locked, the force can travel up the leg to the hip joint, as the force comes through the floorboard of the vehicle.

6.) Hip Abduction Braces

Orthoses (braces) for the hip can help to secure an injured or unstable hip. These braces are best provided by a local, licensed orthotist and help to control excessive movements in the wrong direction during the healing process. The braces can help provide security to the hip when it is unstable after an injury has occurred.

*Note: This is health information. Medical advice on bracing should be provided to you by your local, licensed orthotist.