Hip bursitis is a painful problem affecting the filled sacs filled with fluid, known as bursa, found outside upper thighs. Bursae allow for smooth movements between any two uneven surfaces reducing friction. The hip has two major bursae, which are ischial bursa and trochanteric bursa. Inflammation in these areas can lead to pain and stiffness around hip joints. For example, ischial bursitis will cause pain at the hip base, especially when you sit down and trochanteric bursitis causes pain at the side of the hip. The inflammation may be due to injuries caused by straining or traumas to the soft tissue.
Bursitis of the hip can be caused by a direct hit to the hip, health problems such as arthritis, gout or scoliosis, infection, past surgeries which include hip replacement or hip arthroplasty. Athletes or runners may also get this condition when overusing and exerting too much pressure on the hip joint. The symptoms associated with hip bursitis depend on the type of the condition itself.
However, general symptoms may include aches and stiffness in the affected area of the joint, swelling and redness, fever, or a sharp pain especially when you move. A dull, burning pain may be felt on the outer hip if you have trochanteric bursitis. The pain may be increased when stair climbing and walking.
Diagnosis is established after a physical examination. This is achieved by getting a history on the outer hip pain and areas of tenderness and swelling of the hip. Further examinations may be carried out such laboratory tests which include fluid analysis from inflamed bursa or blood tests to locate the cause of pain and inflammation. Imaging tests such as X-rays are done so as to confirm that there are no calcium deposits or bone spurs that may be contributing to your problem. Magnetic Resonance Imaging may be used when physical examination is not enough.
Methods of treatment depend on whether or not the area is infected. Non infectious bursitis can be treated using ice to control inflammation and improve blood circulation. Anti inflammatory drugs reduce pain and inflammation but also cause side effects. In some cases aspiration of the bursa is done by removing the fluid in aseptic conditions using a needle and a syringe.
After the initial symptoms are under control, physical therapy may be considered which incorporates exercises that focus on stretching and strengthening muscles and tendons found in the hip. They start to move more effortlessly decreasing friction thus avoiding bursitis. This is vital in the recovery process, especially for those who participate in sports so as to avoid aggravating the inflamed region. There are few cases of hip bursitis that may require surgery, whereby the bursa is removed and you can continue with life with no complications.