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Hip Bursitis

  • What is Hip Bursitis?

    Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. A bursa is a small jelly-like sac that acts as a cushion between the bone and the overlying soft tissues to reduce friction between them. The bony point of the hip (Greater Trochanter) has a fairly large bursa that can become irritated.

    There are two major bursae of the hip, the Trochanteric bursa and the Ischial bursa. The Trochanteric bursa is located on the outside of the hip.

  • The causes of Hip Bursitis include:

    • Bone Spurs or Calcium Deposits , which can develop within the tendons that attach to the Trochanter (the bony outgrowth at the upper end of the thigh bone)
    • Hip injury, which can occur from falling onto your hip, bumping your hip on the edge of a piece of furniture or lying on one side of your body for a longer time
    • Leg-Length Inequality, when one of your legs is shorter than the other by more than 1 inch
    • Repetitive Stress (Overuse) Injury — this can occur when stair climbing, bicycling, running or after standing for a long time
    • Spine disease, which can occur from Lumbar Arthritis (in the lower spine) or Scoliosis (curved spine)
  • Symptoms of Bursitis include:

    • Pain:

      • When moving
      • When sleeping on the affected hip
      • When sitting on a hard surface for a long time
      • When getting up after being seated
      • Which extends over the outside of the thigh and may radiate down the outside of the thigh
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness directly over the bursa

    The symptoms may get worse with stair climbing, prolonged walking or squatting.

  • Treatment depends on the specific location of the bursa, but the aim is to rest the bursa, decrease inflammation and allow time for recovery. If the Bursitis is persistent despite treatment, surgical excision of the bursa is possible.

  • There is a risk that an inflamed bursa can become infected, although infection is rare for hip bursitis as the inflammation is deep within the body. If you have infected bursitis, you will need antibiotic treatment.

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