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OrthoConnecticut’ team of board certified, fellowship-trained physicians specialize in hip conditions and treatment for hip pain, including hip bursitis. Our highly qualified team of physicians offers a personalized approach, ensuring that each patient receives the best treatment for their particular condition.

What is Bursitis?

Bursae, are small, jelly-like sacs that are located throughout the body. 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.

The main symptom of 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. It also may get worse with prolonged walking, stair climbing, or squatting.

Diagnosing Hip Bursitis

To diagnose hip bursitis, a comprehensive physical examination is necessary, looking for tenderness in the area of the point of the hip. Additional tests to rule out other possible injuries or conditions may also be necessary, such as x-rays, bone scanning, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment for Hip Bursitis

The initial treatment for hip bursitis does not involve surgery. Many people with hip bursitis can experience relief with simple lifestyle changes, including:

  • Activity modification
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Assistive devices (walking cane or crutches)
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injection

Surgical Treatment for Hip Bursitis

Surgery is rarely needed for hip bursitis. If the bursa remains inflamed and painful after all nonsurgical treatments have been tried, surgical removal of the bursa may be recommended. Removal of the bursa does not hurt the hip, and the hip can function normally without it.  Typically, this is achieved through arthroscopic removal of the bursa. This surgery is less invasive, and recovery is quicker and less painful.

The animation content provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any specific questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.