The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint where the upper end (head) of the thigh bone (femur) joins with the socket (acetabulum) of the pelvis. It allows for motion and gives the stability needed to bear body weight.
The hip is the area located on each side of the pelvis. The pelvis bone is made up of 3 sections:
- Ilium- The broad, flaring portion of the pelvis.
- Pubis- The lower, rear part of the pelvis.
- Ischium- One of the bones that helps form the hip
The hip is one of the most stable joints in the body. As it bears your body weight, it is more likely to develop arthritis because of the extra pressure. Pain in the hip may be caused by injury to muscles, tendons, or the small fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion and lubricate joints.
WHAT IS HIP BURSITIS?
Hip bursitis is a painful condition that occurs due to the swelling of bursae, which are small jelly-like sacs located throughout the body that acts as a cushion between the bone and the overlying soft tissues to reduce friction between them.
There are two major bursae in the hip that typically become irritated and inflamed:
- Trochanteric Bursa
The trochanteric bursa is located on the outside of the hip between the greater trochanter of the femur and the gluteal muscles. Inflammation of this bursa is called trochanteric bursitis and is a common cause of hip pain.
- Iliopsoas bursa
The iliopsoas bursa is located on the inside (groin side) of the hip. When this bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is referred to as iliopsoas bursitis. This pain is located in the groin area.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HIP BURSITIS?
The primary symptom of hip bursitis is swelling and pain at the point of the hip.
Other common symptoms include:
- Pain when moving
- Pain when sleeping on the affected hip
- Pain when getting up after being seated for awhile
- Pain that extends to the outside of the thigh
- Tenderness at the bursa
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS OF HIP BURSITIS?
Common risk factors of hip bursitis include:
Elderly have a higher risk
Women have a higher risk
- Repetitive overuse of the hip
This can occur when running, stair climbing, bicycling, or standing for long periods of time
- Sustaining a hip injury
Falling onto your hip, bumping your hip, or lying on one side of your body for an extended period of time can cause hip injury
- Spinal conditions
This includes scoliosis, arthritis of the lumbar (lower) spine, and other spine problems
- Unequal leg length
When one leg is significantly shorter than the other (more than an inch), it affects the way you walk, leading to imbalance
- Rheumatoid arthritis
This makes the bursa more likely to become inflamed
- Previous surgery
Previous surgery around the hip or prosthetic implants in the hip can irritate the bursa causing inflammation
- Bone spurs or calcium deposits
These can develop within the tendons that attach muscles to the trochanter, and can irritate the bursa and cause inflammation
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS OF HIP BURSTITIS?
A history of the injury and a physical examination of the hip will be conducted by the Doctor. During the physical examination, the doctor will look for tenderness in the hip area and the location of pain.
Imaging tests will be taken, such as an x-ray and MRI scan to help the doctor confirm the diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR HIP BURSITIS?
Many people with hip bursitis can experience pain relief with nonsurgical treatment, including:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling
- Steroid injections such as corticosteroid directly into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain
- Physiotherapy to regain hip strength and increase your range of motion
- Avoiding activities that involves the overuse of the hip, such as climbing
- Avoiding pressure on the hip joint
- Aspiration of bursa fluid to relieve pressure
Should these methods be ineffective in relieving pain, surgery may be recommended to remove the inflamed bursa.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PROCESS AFTER SURGERY FOR HIP BURSITIS?
If you have undergone surgery for your hip bursitis, expect to use crutches for a few days. Typically, you will be able to start walking by yourself on the same day of the surgery.