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Why is a Hip Dislocation Bad?

October 19, 2015

After the crazy ending to the Michigan-MIchigan State game, there were a few medical storylines.  One guy's heart couldn't take the wild turn of events and suffered a heart attack in the stands, but was saved by a fast acting EMS crew.

​The other story was Jalen Watts-Jackson (#20 - MIch St.) suffering a hip fracture and dislocation at the end of the game winning touchdown.  Unlike other joints of the body, the hip is a ball and socket joint that requires a tremendous amount of force to dislocate.  Usually the socket is broken in the back as the ball pops backwards.  These injuries are more often seen in car accidents rather than football games.


The major concern after a traumatic event is not just hip instability, but preserving the blood supply the ball of the hip.  As in the picture below, once the blood supply is disrupted, the ball will fragment as lose its circular shape in a process known as AVN (Avascular Necrosis).  The only lasting treatment would then be a total hip as in the case of Bo Jackson.  However, artificial hips wear out overtime, and in a yound person it wears faster, and the process becomes more difficult as complex revisions are needed.


Hopefully, Jalen will come out with a preserved blood supply to his femoral head and return to football, but only time will tell.





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