Hip Avulsion Fracture; More Than Just a Muscle Strain

Mild strains and pains are commonplace in sports. Most of these ailments improve quickly, with rest and a little advice from your athletic trainer or sports certified specialist. But some injuries are more complex and require additional care and healing time.


An avulsion fracture occurs when a small piece of bone is broken off where a tendon or ligament attaches. For youth athletes, this is of considerable importance, as growth plates are not yet fully formed or strong. Athletes who report pain in the front of the hip, combined with difficulty walking should be evaluated by a trained medical professional to determine the correct diagnosis and treatment. When ignored or not addressed properly, avulsion fractures can lead to problems with long-term healing and strength, and impact the athlete’s ability to return to sport at the same pre-injury level.      


  • Sudden, strong contractions of the hip flexor muscles during sprinting, kicking, change in direction, or collision with an opposing player. Much like a hip flexor muscle strain.
  • Tight or inflexible muscles
  • Immature skeletal growth


  • Sudden pain during activity that engages the front of the hip
  • Localized pain/tenderness in the front of the hip
  • Pain and difficulty bearing weight when walking
  • Pain and difficulty running and playing sport
  • Painful muscle contractions in the hip and thigh
  • Difficulty pulling the knee up to the chest
  • Swelling 
  • Bruising


  • Seek advice and evaluation by a medical professional if the athlete:
    • Is unable to walk without limping
    • Experiences sharp or stabbing pain associated with movement or activity
    • Has difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Rest from physical activity until cleared by your doctor to safely return
  • Perform cold therapy, applying an ice pack for 10-20 minutes, 3-5 times per day
  • Complete physical therapy to restore strength and flexibility before returning to full activity
  • Modify typical strength and conditioning programs to accommodate the injury

Source: Stop Sports Injuries

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