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Iliopsoas Hematoma - An Overview

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Iliopsoas hematoma is a potentially serious condition characterized by bleeding within the iliopsoas muscle, causing pain and restricted movement. Read below.

Written by

Dr. Aaliya

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Abdul Aziz Khan

Published At October 25, 2023
Reviewed AtOctober 25, 2023


Iliopsoas hematoma is a rare condition characterized by the accumulation of blood within the iliopsoas muscle. It can result from various causes, including trauma, anticoagulant use, and spontaneous rupture of blood vessels. This article overviews iliopsoas hematoma, discussing its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatment options.

What Are the Causes of Iliopsoas Hematoma?

Iliopsoas hematoma refers to the accumulation of blood within the iliopsoas muscle, which is located in the hip region. It can be caused by various factors, including traumatic injuries, medical conditions, and certain medications. Understanding the underlying causes of iliopsoas hematoma is crucial for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Here are the main causes:

Trauma-related Causes:

  • Blunt Trauma:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents.

  2. Falls.

  3. Sports injuries.

  4. Physical assaults.

  • Penetrating Trauma:

  1. Stab wounds.

  2. Gunshot wounds.

  3. Surgical complications.

Iatrogenic Causes:

  • Invasive Procedures:

  1. Biopsies.

  2. Joint injections.

  3. Catheterizations.

  4. Surgical interventions.

  • Anticoagulant or Antiplatelet Therapy:

  1. Medications such as Warfarin, Heparin, Aspirin, or Clopidogrel.

  • Interventional Radiology Procedures:

  1. Angiography.

  2. Embolization.

Medical Conditions:

  • Coagulopathies:

  1. Hemophilia.

  2. Von Willebrand disease.

  3. Liver disease.

  4. Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

  • Arterial or Venous Disorders:

  1. Aneurysm rupture.

  2. Arteriovenous malformations.

  3. Varicose veins.

  4. Thrombosis.

  • Inflammatory or Infectious Conditions:

  1. Abscess formation.

  2. Osteomyelitis.

  3. Psoas muscle inflammation.

  4. Retroperitoneal fibrosis.

Miscellaneous Causes:

  • Spontaneous Hemorrhage:

Rupture of blood vessels within the muscle without any obvious cause.

  • Malignancies:

Tumors originating in the psoas muscle or adjacent structures.

  • Drug-induced:

The risk of bleeding or hematoma formation can be increased by medications.

  • Systemic Diseases:

  1. Connective tissue disorders.

  2. Blood dyscrasias.

What Are the Symptoms of Iliopsoas Hematoma?

The symptoms of iliopsoas hematoma are explained as follows:

  • Pain: One of the primary symptoms of iliopsoas hematoma is pain. The pain is typically felt deep within the groin or hip region and may radiate down the front of the thigh. The pain may worsen with movement or activities that engage the hip joint, such as walking, bending, or lifting.

  • Swelling and Bruising: Another common symptom is swelling and bruising around the hip area. The accumulation of blood within the iliopsoas muscle can cause visible swelling, which may be accompanied by discoloration of the skin due to bruising. The affected area may appear red, purple, or blue, indicating the presence of internal bleeding.

  • Limited Range of Motion: Patients may experience stiffness and difficulty in moving the affected leg, leading to a decreased ability to walk, climb stairs, or perform routine tasks.

  • Abdominal Symptoms: In some cases, larger iliopsoas hematomas can exert pressure on adjacent structures, such as the intestines or blood vessels. This pressure can result in abdominal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and a sense of fullness or pressure in the abdomen. Additionally, if the hematoma compresses nearby nerves, it may cause radiating pain or tingling sensations in the lower abdomen or groin area.

  • Weakness or Instability: As the iliopsoas muscle is responsible for flexing the hip joint, a hematoma in this region can lead to weakness or instability in the affected leg. Patients may have difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg or experience a sense of instability while standing or walking. This weakness may be more pronounced if the hematoma is large or if it compresses the nerves that control muscle function.

How to Diagnose Iliopsoas Hematoma?

Diagnosing an iliopsoas hematoma typically involves a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, and medical imaging. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to diagnose an iliopsoas hematoma professionally:

Patient History:

  • Take the patient's medical history, including details about any recent trauma, falls, or accidents that could have caused the hematoma. Inquire about symptoms such as hip or groin pain, swelling, difficulty walking, or a history of bleeding disorders or anticoagulant medication use.

Physical Examination:

  • physical examination of the patient is performed, focusing on the hip and groin area. Look for signs of swelling, discoloration, or bruising. Palpate the area to assess for tenderness, warmth, or a pulsatile mass. Evaluate the patient's range of motion and assess for any pain or limitation during movement.

Laboratory Tests:

  • Order relevant laboratory tests to assess the patient's blood clotting profile and general health status. These may include complete blood count (CBC), coagulation studies (PT, aPTT, INR), and blood chemistry panels. Abnormal laboratory results may indicate an underlying bleeding disorder or impaired clotting function.

Imaging Studies:

The primary imaging modality used to diagnose an iliopsoas hematoma is usually an imaging technique like ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Each modality has its advantages:

  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is often the initial imaging choice due to its accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and ability to provide real-time images. It can detect the presence, location, and size of a hematoma, as well as evaluate blood flow within the vessels.

  • CT Scan: CT scan provides detailed cross-sectional images that can precisely locate and characterize the hematoma. It can also help identify potential causes, such as fractures or other injuries in the surrounding bones or organs.

  • MRI: MRI is particularly useful for assessing the soft tissues, providing detailed images of the hematoma and surrounding structures. It can help differentiate between different types of tissue, assess the extent of the hematoma, and identify any associated complications.

Angiography (if necessary):

  • In some cases, when an active bleeding source is suspected, angiography may be performed. Angiography involves the injection of a contrast dye into the blood vessels to visualize any abnormal blood flow or bleeding. It can help identify the source of bleeding and guide further treatment options.


  • If necessary, involve other medical specialists in the diagnosis and management of the iliopsoas hematoma. This may include a hematologist, interventional radiologist, orthopedic surgeon, or vascular surgeon, depending on the severity and underlying cause of the hematoma.

How to Treat Iliopsoas Hematoma?

Here is a general outline of how iliopsoas hematoma may be treated:

Medical Evaluation:

  • Initial Assessment: The healthcare provider will evaluate the patient's symptoms and medical history and conduct a physical examination.

  • Diagnostic Imaging: Imaging tests like ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be used to confirm the presence and extent of the hematoma.

Conservative Management:

  • Rest: The patient may be advised to limit physical activities and rest to promote healing and prevent further injury.

  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications may be recommended to manage pain and inflammation.

  • Ice and Heat Therapy: Apply ice packs initially to reduce swelling and later use heat therapy to improve blood circulation and promote healing.

Physical Therapy:

  • Gentle Stretching Exercises: A physical therapist may recommend specific stretching exercises to improve flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness.

  • Strengthening Exercises: Gradual introduction of strengthening exercises to help stabilize the hip and improve muscle strength.

  • Range of Motion Exercises: Activities to improve joint mobility and restore normal movement patterns.

  • Gait Training: Assistance in relearning proper walking techniques to avoid putting excessive strain on the iliopsoas muscle.

Interventional Procedures:

  • Aspiration: In some cases, a healthcare provider may use a needle and syringe to drain the accumulated blood from the hematoma, reducing pressure and promoting healing.

  • Injection Therapy: Injection of medications such as Corticosteroids or local anesthetics may be considered to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

Surgical Intervention:

  • Surgical Drainage: If the hematoma is large, causing significant pain, or not resolving with conservative measures, surgical drainage may be necessary. This procedure involves making an incision and draining the hematoma under sterile conditions.

  • Repair of the Primary Cause: If the hematoma is caused by a specific underlying condition, such as a ruptured blood vessel, surgery may be required to repair the damaged vessel or address any other contributing factors.


To summarize, iliopsoas hematoma is a notable medical condition marked by the buildup of blood in the iliopsoas muscle. Timely identification and proper treatment are vital in order to prevent complications and promote positive outcomes for the patient. With advancements in medical imaging techniques and a multidisciplinary approach to care, healthcare professionals can effectively address this condition, alleviate symptoms, and improve the overall quality of life for affected individuals.

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Dr. Abdul Aziz Khan
Dr. Abdul Aziz Khan

Medical oncology


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