Bursitis of the Hip
The bursa is a small jelly like sac that usually contains small amounts of fluid. These sacs are located throughout the body and mostly around the knee, shoulder, elbow, hip and heel. This bursa functions as a cushion between the bones and the overlying soft tissue. They lie outside the joint and help to reduce the friction between muscle and bone.
Bursitis of the hip is an inflammation of the large bursa that lies over the greater trochanter. The greater trochanter is the point of the hip on the lateral side or the side of your hip where you might lie down. In bursitis of the hip the bursa may become irritated or inflamed which is a common cause of hip pain.
There is another bursa located on the inside of the hip called the iliopsoas bursa. When this becomes inflamed the pain is located in the groin are. Although it is a bursitis of the hip, it is less common than the trochanteric bursitis.
There are no conclusive tests to diagnose bursitis of the hip but using a physical examination and potentially x-ray, bone scan and MRI the physician can rule out all other potential problems then being left with bursitis of the hip as the diagnosis. Trochanteric bursitis can affect anyone at any age. It is more common in middle aged or elderly people and less common in men.
There is some argument about whether people who do repetitive functions are more prone to trochanteric bursitis. Repetitive functions such as running, stair climbing, and standing still for long periods of time appear to have some degree of impact on the development of and successful treatment of bursitis of the hip
In other circumstances people can receive an injury that predisposes them to a bursitis. Chronic injuries can also cause bursitis, such as bumping your hip on the edge of a table repeatedly over months or years. Leg length discrepancies will affect the way that you walk and therefore the movement of muscle over bursa. Hip bone spurs or calcium deposits will also cause the tendons that attach to the trochanter to become tender.
Prevention of bursitis of the hip is aimed at avoiding behaviors that make the inflammation worse. There are specific conditions that help to decrease the inflammation and prevent the condition of bursitis of the hip. Patients should avoid repetitive motion at the hips for long lengths of time. Those who are over weight must lose weight to decrease the weight stress on the joint system. Properly fitting shoes and correcting a leg length discrepancy will decrease your risk of developing bursitis of the hip.
The hip pain that is present in bursitis of the hip usually extends to the outside thigh area and is described as sharp and intense in the early stages. Later in the progression it is described as more achy and is much worse at night. It also is worse after prolonged walking, squatting or stair climbing.
Initial treatment centers on simplifying your lifestyle. If you are able to modify your activities, use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory mediations to control the pain and assistive devices as needed you should be able effect a cure. Patients often report relief after visiting a physical therapist who will teach the patient how to use heat/ice and stretch the hip joint.