Hip Bursitis Treatment Specialist Q&A
Learn how to diagnose and treat the causes and symptoms of hip bursitis from the team of experienced orthopedic surgeons at The Orthopedic Group. Call us today or book a consultation with our experienced surgeons. We have convenient locations to serve you in Leesburg VA, Lansdowne VA, and Stone Springs VA.
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Hip bursitis refers to inflammation of the bursae, a group of structures found around joints that function as cushions to reduce friction. These bursae are small sacs filled with a jelly-like fluid.
There are two primary bursae in the hip joint. One covers a bony prominence of the femur, the thigh bone, called the greater trochanter. Inflammation of this bursa is termed trochanteric bursitis. The second hip bursa can be found in the interior of the groin; inflammation here is called iliopsoas bursitis. Bursitis is more commonly seen in the trochanteric bursa, though both conditions are treated the same.
The most apparent symptom of hip bursitis is pain. This pain is usually sharp and severe initially, but it will likely become a more widespread ache over time. With trochanteric bursitis, this pain is felt over the bony point of the hip and may radiate to the outer thigh. In iliopsoas bursitis, the pain will feel local to the groin where the inner thigh and hip meet. Some patients experience worsened pain at night due to poor sleeping positions and pressure on the inflamed area.
The pain is also likely to feel more intense after sitting stationary or actively moving the hip joint (like running or biking) for a prolonged time. Inflammation may be seen externally; the hip may appear redder in color and feel warmer to the touch. Alongside pain and swelling, you may notice stiffness in the hip joint or, if more serious, an inability to move the leg. If your hip bursitis is acute, symptomatic flare-ups will last between hours to days. If you experience chronic bursitis, symptomatic flare-ups may last from many days to several weeks. Should you notice a large bruise on your hip, or a rash, medical attention should be sought. The same is said for patients experiencing fever, especially if it is un-wavered by over-the-counter medications.
The most common cause of hip bursitis is repetitive movements and overuse, resulting in friction and irritation of the bursae. There are many risk factors of hip bursitis, which increase your chances of developing the inflammatory condition. One risk factor is previous hip injury or hip surgery, where the damage of these jelly-filled sacs may trigger an immune response to begin repairs. Spine diseases, such as scoliosis or arthritis may also lead to the development of bursitis.
This is because the misalignment of the spine results in inequalities in leg use, whether one is shorter than the other or takes on more weight with movement. Leg conditions that cause an uneven length can also cause inflammation. In these situations, one of the legs is overused improperly. Diabetes mellitus can also lead to bursitis, for many of the same reasons why it has a high comorbidity rate with arthritis, another inflammatory joint condition. A complex form of arthritis, called gout, can further lead to bursitis. When the body produces too much uric acid with gout or the kidneys do not excrete enough, it builds up in the blood.
Sharp crystals of uric acid then form in the joints, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling. Calcium deposits on the tendons, the tissues connecting muscle to bone, can lead to bursitis, as do bony spurs, which is a growing bony projection. It is worth noting that the likelihood of developing bursitis increases with age and is more commonly seen in women than men.
A comprehensive physical exam and interview with a healthcare provider should be enough to diagnose hip bursitis. First, your doctor will ask you many questions about your experienced symptoms, like when it started and what you find makes it worse or better. Afterward, the doctor will examine your hip, looking for uneven inflammation and redness. Next, they will use their hands to palpate around the joint, looking for increased tenderness with pressure application.
If bursitis cannot be diagnosed within these steps, your doctor will likely want to have medical imagery done to confirm. These scans may include an MRI or ultrasound. Should there be a question of if there is an alternative diagnosis, an x-ray may be used to rule out other possibilities. Lastly, a blood draw may be performed as analysis can shed light on possible inflammation causes. If you have bursitis of the hip, or have questions, contact our team of healthcare professionals today at The Orthopedic Group through our website. We serve patients from Leesburg VA, Lansdowne VA, Stone Springs VA, Dulles, VA, Ashburn VA, Sterling VA, Aldie VA, South Riding VA, Herndon VA, Winchester VA, Reston VA, and Chantilly VA.