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Hip Bursitis

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is a painful condition caused by the inflammation of a bursa in the hip. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs present in the joints between bone and soft tissue to reduce friction and provide cushioning during movement.

The bony prominence of the hip is called greater trochanter and is present on the outer side of the upper thighbone or femur. The bursa overlying it is called trochanteric bursa. Another bursa is located towards the groin region and is called iliopsoas bursa. Bursitis of the trochanteric bursa is more common than that of iliopsoas bursa.

Causes of Hip Bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis is often associated with sports such as football and soccer, which involve a lot of running. These sports can lead to overuse and irritation of the bursa, causing inflammation. Bursitis may sometimes result from an injury or fall on your hip, or after a surgical procedure of the hip.

Certain spine diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and leg length inequality increase your risk for developing hip bursitis.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

Trochanteric bursitis results in pain on the outer side of the hip, which usually increases with prolonged walking or climbing stairs. The pain is felt more while getting up from a chair and lying down on the affected side. The inflammation of the iliopsoas bursa, however, results in pain in the groin region.

Diagnosis of Hip Bursitis

A physical examination of the hip that indicates tenderness and swelling around the painful bursitis confirms the diagnosis of hip bursitis. To check for any bone spurs that could be causing irritation of the bursa your doctor may order an X-ray. If the reason for the pain is not very clear, your doctor may order an MRI to view the soft tissues and structures not visible on an X-ray.

Treatment Options for Hip Bursitis

Conservative Treatment Options for Hip Bursitis

The treatment goals for bursitis are focused on resolving inflammation and pain. Rest is advised and activities causing the bursitis pain are restricted. Anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Physical therapy and treatments with heat, ice, and ultrasound are sometimes recommended. An injection of corticosteroid medicine may be administered to reduce the inflammation. Sometimes, a second injection is necessary if the pain returns after a few months. These non-surgical treatments provide relief from hip bursitis in most cases.

Surgery for Hip Bursitis

Sometimes, however, your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the bursa if you do not respond to conservative treatment measures.

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