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Bursitis of the Hip

Bursitis is named after bursae, which are tiny sacs filled with a jelly-like fluid. Bursae live between bones and soft tissue, and their purpose is to help reduce the friction caused by movement. Hip bursitis is a painful inflammation of the bursae that is located around your hip. 

Bursitis is usually associated with over-stressing or repetitive use of the areas around your joints. For example, patients who run or bike for prolonged periods of time are at risk of developing hip bursitis. It can also be caused by direct trauma (bumping your hip on a table) or infection. 

The hips have two major bursae that tend to become inflamed or irritated. One of them covers the bony point of the hip. When that tip becomes inflamed, it’s called “trochanteric bursitis”. This is the most common form of hip bursitis. The iliopsoas bursa, inside the hip near the groin, can also become inflamed. While this type of bursitis isn’t as common as trochanteric bursitis, it is treated similarly. 

Symptoms of hip bursitis

Hip pain is the most common symptom of hip bursitis. The pain tends to begin near the hip joint and may extend to the outside thigh area. The characteristics of the pain may change as the condition progresses. Early, the pain may be sharp and intense. But as the condition continues, the pain may become less intense and be more achy than sharp. It may also spread farther across the hip and thigh area. 

Most people find that hip bursitis pain is worse at night when they lie on the affected hip. It may also be more intense when standing up after sitting for a long period of time or when walking, climbing stairs or squatting for prolonged periods. Bursitis of the hip can cause significant mobility issues that are often related to pain when moving.

Other symptoms of bursitis include:

  • A dull ache or stiffness in the joint or surrounding area
  • Pain with movement
  • Swelling of the joints
  • Warmth in the skin surrounding the joint
  • Skin redness surrounding the joint

Preventing hip bursitis

It’s not always possible to prevent hip bursitis, but you can make some lifestyle changes to help keep the inflammation from getting worse. Some of those changes might be:

  • Avoiding repetitive activity that stresses the hips
  • Doing strength and flexibility training to keep the hip muscles strong and limber
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight

Diagnosing hip bursitis

If you see a doctor for hip pain, he or she will likely perform a physical exam and will look for signs of tenderness or pain near the point of the hip. He or she may also order additional tests to rule out other conditions or injuries that might be causing your hip pain. Some tests to diagnose hip pain include x-ray, MRI, and bone scans.

Beaumont offers treatments for hip bursitis

The first line of treatment for hip bursitis may involve lifestyle modifications, medications, physical therapy, the use of assistive devices, or steroid injections. These types of non-surgical treatments can be effective for treating bursitis of the hip, and they may provide significant relief from pain and other associated symptoms. 

Learn more about non-surgical treatment for hip bursitis

  • Hip pain management
  • Physical therapy

Surgery to treat hip bursitis

Most people who experience hip bursitis do not need surgery, but if you have not experienced relief and the bursa is continually inflamed and painful after you’ve tried non-surgical treatments, you may be a candidate for surgery. 

Surgery to treat hip bursitis involves removing the bursa. Fortunately, hips can function normally without the bursa.

At Beaumont, we offer arthroscopic removal of the bursa, which is a minimally invasive procedure that removes the hip bursa through a tiny incision. Minimally invasive surgery has many benefits over traditional surgery, including reduced pain, shorter recovery period, and less scarring, to name a few.

Both traditional and minimally invasive bursa removal surgery are usually done on an outpatient basis, so you should not have to stay in the hospital overnight. 

Rehabilitation after hip bursa removal surgery 

Rehabilitation is typically short. Most people are able to walk with a cane or crutches quickly, sometimes even the night after the surgery. You may need to continue walking with an assistive device for a few days, but you should be feeling comfortable walking and doing daily activities within three or four days. 

Make an appointment at Beaumont

If you have hip pain or other symptoms of hip bursitis, contact a Beaumont specialist at 800-633-7377 to get more information or make an appointment.