Ilium Apophysitis

Ilium apophysitis

Ilium apophysitis is an overuse injury which occurs in children and adolescents at the front of the pelvis. It particularly affects those who participate in a lot of sport. Here we explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment of Ilium apophysitis.


  • Apophysitis of the Ilium typically results in dull pain at the front of the hip.
  • There will be tenderness at a specific point on the front of the hip.
  • Pain usually gets worse with activity and there may be some mild swelling.

What is Ilium apophysitis?

Apophysitis is inflammation of an apophysis. This is an area of growth on a bone which also acts as a point for muscles to attach to. It is common in young athletes because their bones are still growing and have not yet fully matured and hardened.

The ilium bone is part of the pelvis. ilium apophysitis frequently occurs at either the AIIS (anterior inferior iliac spine) or the ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) at the front of the pelvis.

Other apophysitis injuries which commonly occur in children are:


Overuse is the main cause. A growth plate is an area of bone from which growth occurs. This is the last area of bone to fully harden, turning from cartilage to hard bone. Therefore, it is still relatively soft in children and adolescents.

Those involved in sporting activities in particular or those with very tight hip muscles may suffer from this injury. The repetitive pulling of the thigh muscles on the growth plate results in irritation and inflammation of the area.

Treatment for Ilium apophysitis

  • Rest from aggravating activities until pain and tenderness ease.
  • Apply ice or cold therapy products to ease pain and inflammation.
  • A doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Once-daily activities are pain-free, stretches for the hip muscles can be performed.
  • Sports massage therapy may be able to help relax really tight muscles, especially the rectus femoris.
  • Once pain has gone, a gradual return to sport can be initiated.
  • Ensure a full warm-up is performed and stop if any pain is felt.
  • The condition will ease on its own once growth is finished and the bone is fully matured.

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