Hip Bursitis

There are tiny, jelly-like sacs located in various parts of your body. The sacks are medically referred to as “bursa”. Your bursa is found around the shoulders, knees, heels, elbows and hips. These little sacs have a small amount of fluid, hence the name. Normally, they are positioned between soft tissues and bones. Their main function is to act as cushions or “shock absorbers” to help reduce friction in your body joints including the hips. 

Whenever these jelly-like sacs inflame, they cause pain in the affected joints. This form of inflammation is called “bursitis”. Therefore, hip bursitis is simply an inflammation or swelling of your bursa within the hip. Read on to get a clear picture of what is hip or trochanteric bursitis, hip bursitis anatomy, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

What is Hip (Trochanteric) Bursitis?

As explained above, hip bursitis is a condition that causes your bursa to inflame. Usually, two major bursae in your hip become irritated and swollen. One of these two bursae covers your hip’s bony point or the greater trochanter. This is why the inflammation of this particular bursa type is referred to as trochanteric bursitis.

The second major bursa is known as the iliopsoas bursa. This type of bursa is located within the groin region of your hip. Once inflamed, your iliopsoas bursa causes hip bursitis and pain in your groin area. This type of hip bursitis is not common compared to trochanteric bursitis. However, both conditions are treated similarly. 

If you experience pain above the right hip, outer hip pain or posterior hip pain, our orthopedic doctors at Sforzo l Dillingham l Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine will take care of your treatment. Our doctors offer diagnosis services coupled with stem cell therapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection solutions to help reduce your hip bursitis pain. 

Dr. Charles E. Stewart, has many years of practical experience in helping patients with swollen hips and other orthopedic medical conditions return to their active lifestyles. Dr. Stewart uses state-of-the-art surgical procedures to maximize both short and long-term functionality of the affected hip joint. 

The doctors at Sforzo l Dillingham l Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine provide expert healthcare services in the treatment of orthopedic problems involving elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles and hips. These are areas within your body that have jelly-like sacs (bursae). 

As board-certified Orthopedic Surgeons and fellowship-trained in various orthopedic surgeries, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques to perform many procedures. Some of these helpful procedures include:

  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
  • Arthroscopic elbow and wrist procedures
  • Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair
  • Hip joint replacement
  • Arthritis surgery
  • Fracture repair
  • Foot and ankle disorders
  • Tendon repair
  • Partial knee replacement
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction
  • Total knee and hip arthroplasty (replacement)
  • Reconstruction of the failed knee and hip arthroplasties
  • Reconstruction of spinal deformities
  • Microscopic cervical disc replacement

Our proven medical procedures and therapies are tailored to provide lasting solutions to individual patients based on their conditions. 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our orthopedic doctors by calling 941.378.5100.

Hip Bursitis Anatomy

Your hip joint is simply a ball-and-socket joint. This vital part of your body plays a significant role in bearing your entire body weight while walking, running, standing or jumping. Certainly, your hip joint bears the burden of your most crucial body activities. As one part of your flexible joints within the body, the hip joint allows you to perform a wide range of motion all the time. 

A round, cup-like structure (referred to as acetabulum) forms the socket. The ball is formed by the rounded head of your femur. Structurally, this joint is surrounded by several tough muscles and ligaments. Muscles and ligaments are responsible for preventing cases of dislocation and other related forms of hip injuries such as tendonitis of the hip, greater trochanteric bursitis, swollen hip and hip pain when walking. 


Symptoms of Hip (Trochanteric) Bursitis

There are many hip bursitis symptoms. However, the main trochanteric bursitis symptom is pain. Usually, this hip bursitis pain occurs at the point of your hip before extending toward the outside of your thigh area. 

During the early stages of trochanteric bursitis, the bursitis pain or posterior hip pain is normally sharp and intense. In some advanced stages of your hip bursitis, this pain may change to an ache before spreading across a vast area of your hip. 

The pain becomes worse at night time, when lying on the injured hip or when standing up from a chair after long hours of sitting. Prolonged walking, squatting, and stair climbing can worsen your tendonitis of the hip.

Other hip bursitis symptoms include:

  • Acute bursitis that flares over hours or days
  • Chronic bursitis lasting for several days or weeks  
  • Thickened bursa
  • Limited movement around the hips
  • Weakened muscles or atrophy in the hip area

What are the Risk Factors of Trochanteric Bursitis and who does it affect?

Hip bursitis affects anyone, male or female regardless of age. However, this condition is more prevalent in women than men. It is most common in middle-aged and elderly people. 

Here are the risk factors:

  • Repetitive stress or overuse injury when running, climbing stairs, cycling or standing for long periods. 
  • Hip injury, especially to the point of the hip due to falling onto your hip, bumping your hip or lying on one side of your body for a longer period. 
  • Spine diseases such as arthritis of the lower (lumbar) spine, scoliosis and other spine conditions may affect your walking ability.
  • Leg-length inequality, where one leg is significantly shorter than the other, causes irritation of your hip bursa.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of your bursa.
  • Previous surgery around your hip area or prosthetic implants that irritate your bursa.

Hip Bursitis Diagnosis

Your orthopedic doctor may order several imaging diagnostic tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs or bone scans. In particular, the doctors may suggest the following tests to confirm if you have bursitis or other conditions:

  • X-ray: The X-ray test will help rule out other causes of your pain like osteoarthritis or a stress fracture.
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may be ordered by your Orthopedic Surgeon to confirm or rule out other causes of your hip pain. The MRI will show a detailed view of the soft tissues around the hip joint. It will also help detect abnormalities such as the damaged tendon or swollen bursa.

Hip Bursitis Treatments

  • Nonsurgical Treatment

Doctors who administer nonsurgical treatment for bursitis include physiatrists (rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation specialists), primary care providers, orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors. The doctors will recommend nonsurgical bursitis treatment options that include enough rest, activity modification, hip bursitis exercises, trochanteric bursitis exercises and a cold pack or ice application to the sore hip. Your doctor may suggest the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), topical anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections, or recommend a draining/aspiration process to drain the bursa.

  • Surgical Treatment

If your hip bursitis is somehow challenging, your surgeon may use surgical treatment options such as bursectomy, tendon repair & iliotibial (IT) band release and osteotomy of the greater trochanter. Your bursitis hip surgery may involve a combination of these procedures depending on hip bursitis symptoms and other underlying health factors. 

How do you prevent Hip Bursitis?

You can prevent hip bursitis in the following ways: 

  1. Lose weight if you are overweight
  2. Avoid repetitive activities/actions that may put stress on your hips
  3. Maintain strength and flexibility of your hip muscles
  4. Use a properly fitting pair of shoes

Final Thought

The primary hip bursitis treatment goal is to reduce the inflammation of your hip bursa. The most appropriate way to reduce inflammation depends solely on the severity and underlying causes of the inflammation. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some antibiotics to stop the spread of infection caused by septic bursitis. Visit www.sforzodillingham.com to learn more about trochanteric bursitis and its treatment.