Hip bursitis

Hip bursitis

Hip ​Condition

Hip bursitis

Bursae, are small, jelly-like sacs that are located throughout the body, including around the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. They contain a small amount of fluid, and are positioned between bones and soft tissues, acting as cushions to help reduce friction.

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. There are two major bursae in the hip that typically become irritated and inflamed. One bursa covers the bony point of the hip bone called the greater trochanter. Inflammation of this bursa is called trochanteric bursitis.

Another bursa — the iliopsoas bursa — is located on the inside (groin side) of the hip. When this bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is also sometimes referred to as hip bursitis, but the pain is located in the groin area.

Symptoms

The main symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain at the point of the hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. In the early stages, the pain is usually described as sharp and intense. Later, the pain may become more of an ache and spread across a larger area of the hip.

Typically, the pain is worse at night, when lying on the affected hip, and when getting up from a chair after being seated for a while.

Risk factors

Hip bursitis can affect anyone, but is more common in women and middle-aged or elderly people. It is less common in younger people and in men.

The following risk factors have been associated with the development of hip bursitis.

  • Repetitive stress (overuse) injury.
  • Hip injury.
  • Spine disease.
  • Leg-length inequality.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Previous surgery.
  • Bone spurs or calcium deposits.
Treatment

Non-surgical treatment

Many people with hip bursitis can experience relief with simple lifestyle changes, including:

  • Activity modification.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Assistive devices.
  • Physical therapy.
  • Steroid injection.
Surgical treatment

Surgery is rarely needed for hip bursitis. If the bursa remains inflamed and painful after all nonsurgical treatments have been tried, your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the bursa. Removal of the bursa does not hurt the hip, and the hip can function normally without it.

A newer technique that is gaining popularity is arthroscopic removal of the bursa. In this technique, the bursa is removed through a small (1/4-inch) incision over the hip. A small camera, or arthroscope, is placed in a second incision so the doctor can guide miniature surgical instruments and cut out the bursa. This surgery is less invasive, and recovery is quicker and less painful.