Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Other Hip Pain: Hip Bursitis

What is bursitis?
Bursitis is the painful swelling / inflammation of bursae (small sacs of synovial fluid). When bursae work normally, they help the tendons, ligaments, and muscles move smoothly over the bone. There are two major bursae in your hip. One bursa is called the greater tronchanter. When this bursa is irritated and inflamed, it is called tronchanteric bursitis.  There is another bursa located on the inside of your hip (groin side). When this particular bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is often referred to as hip bursitis.

What are the symptoms of bursitis?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
  • Pain and swelling occuring over the side of the hip or at the point of the hip
  • Referred pain that travels down the outside thigh and may continue down the knee
  • Pain while sleeping on your side; especially the affected hip
  • Pain upon getting up from a chair or after prolonged sitting
  • Pain when climbing stairs
  • Pain while sitting with the legs crossed
  • Increased pain while walking, cycling or standing for long periods of time.
What are the causes and risk factors for bursitis?
Hip bursitis is most common in women and middle-aged / elderly people and less common in younger people and in men. However, hip bursitis can impact anyone.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons identified the following risk factors associated with hip bursitis:
  • Overuse injuries (repetitive stress)
  • Hip injury
  • Spine disease
  • Leg-length inequality
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Previous surgery
  • Bone spurs or calcium deposits
How is bursitis diagnosed and treated?
To diagnose bursitis, you must be evaluated by your doctor. Your doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation and may perform additional tests to rule out any other possible injuries or conditions.

Treatment for bursitis may be surgical or nonsurgical. Fortunately, surgery is rarely needed and many people that experience bursitis can find relief with simple lifestyle changes such as activity modification, assistive devices, physical therapy and steroid injections. 

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