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Hip Bursitis

What is hip bursitis?

Hip bursitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs located near the hip joint that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles. Inflammation of these bursae can lead to pain, swelling, and limited mobility in the hip area. Understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for hip bursitis is essential for effective management and improved quality of life for affected individuals.

What are the causes of hip bursitis?

Hip bursitis can arise due to various factors and conditions. Overuse or repetitive movements, such as prolonged standing, walking, or running, can irritate the bursae and lead to inflammation. Trauma or injury to the hip joint, including falls or direct blows, may also trigger bursitis. Structural abnormalities, such as leg length discrepancies or hip joint misalignment, can increase pressure on the bursae and contribute to inflammation. Additionally, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or gout may affect the hip joint and surrounding tissues, leading to bursitis. While less common, hip bursitis can also occur due to infection of the bursae. Understanding the underlying cause of hip bursitis is essential for determining the most appropriate treatment approach and achieving optimal outcomes for affected individuals.

What are the symptoms of hip bursitis?

The symptoms of hip bursitis can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Common symptoms include:

  1. Pain and tenderness in the hip area, particularly over the bursae.
  2. Swelling or redness around the hip joint.
  3. Increased pain with movement or pressure on the affected side.
  4. Limited range of motion in the hip joint, especially with activities like walking, climbing stairs, or getting up from a seated position.
  5. Pain that radiates from the hip to the thigh or buttock area.
  6. Symptoms may worsen with prolonged activity or pressure on the affected hip and may improve with rest or conservative measures.

How is hip bursitis diagnosed?

Dr. Shane J. Nho diagnoses hip bursitis through a comprehensive evaluation, including a combination of medical history assessment, physical examination, imaging studies, and diagnostic injections. Proper diagnosis is crucial for determining the underlying cause of hip pain and guiding appropriate treatment strategies to alleviate symptoms and improve joint function. Diagnostic tools may include:

Medical History Assessment

Reviewing the patient’s history for symptoms, previous injuries, or activities that aggravate hip pain.

Physical Examination

Assessing the hip joint for tenderness, swelling, and range of motion limitations.

Imaging Studies

Utilizing imaging modalities such as X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound to visualize the hip joint and rule out other underlying conditions.

  • X-rays: X-rays provide detailed images of the bones and can help identify fractures, dislocations, or bony abnormalities such as hip dysplasia or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI is particularly useful for evaluating soft tissue structures such as the labrum, ligaments, and cartilage. It can help identify labral tears, ligamentous laxity, or other structural abnormalities.
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: CT scans may be used to provide more detailed images of bony structures and can be helpful in assessing complex fractures or bony abnormalities.

Diagnostic Tests

Performing specific tests, such as bursal fluid aspiration, to confirm the diagnosis and identify any signs of infection or other abnormalities.

At a Glance

Dr. Shane Nho

  • Board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon
  • Team Physician for Chicago Bulls, White Sox, Steel
  • Performs more than 700 procedures each year
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