Trochanteric Bursitis (Hip Bursitis)

Bursitis is an inflammation of joint synovial capsule. Trochanteric bursitis is a disease that affects hip joint bursa and its contents. With the development of bursitis of the hip in most cases, three periarticular bursas around the hip joint can become inflamed.

Trochanteric Bursitis (Hip Bursitis)

The symptoms of these inflammations can vary:

  • When sciatic bursa is inflamed, a patient has severe pain. Its intensity increases even after little physical efforts. This painful sensation makes people go to a doctor;
  • With the development of the inflammatory process in trochanter bursa, patients experience strong pain in femur area. Most often doctors diagnose trochanteric bursitis in women or athletes. Some doctors believe that bursitis is a disease of sportspeople;
  • Inflammatory process in iliopectineal bursa is accompanied by groin pain.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

Bursitis of the hip is often accompanied by specific hip bursitis symptoms. Among the most common signs of this disease are:

  • acute or gradually increasing pain in your hip joint area;
  • burning sensation;
  • you feel pain when you lay on the affected side (left or right);
  • you can face problems bending your legs, climbing stairs, walking big distances or sitting on a hard surface. Running or jumping causes intense leg pain;
  • strong pain causes sleep disturbance;
  • you can have malaise or general weakness. Sometimes bursitis can lead to loss of ability to work;
  • if any infection penetrates your hip bursa, it is possible to get an abscess. In this case you can develop a very complicated form of septic hip bursitis that needs immediate complex treatment;
  • bursa inflammation usually provokes increase of your body temperature or local temperature;
  • you can also have a swelling which is visible or palpable. Usually it is formed by fluid accumulated in one of your hip bursas.

Causes of Hip Bursitis

Many factors can provoke development of bursitis. The main causes of bursitis of the hip joint include:

  • various diseases including congenital abnormalities. They can become triggering factors for trochanteric bursitis. Among them are such problems as different length of legs, curvature of spine, rheumatoid arthritis, bone spurs, salt deposits and many other factors. This means that almost every person can develop hip bursitis under certain conditions;
  • however, strong physical load on your hip joint can greatly increase you risk to have this hip disease. That is why many athletes suffer from bursitis. Sportspeople are also in a risk group, because of their heavy physical loads;
  • hypothermia can trigger an inflammation process, so avoid getting chilled in a cold weather or swimming in cold water;
  • people with extra weight run a risk of having hip or knee bursitis, as human bones and joint are not designed to carry so much weight;
  • though we state that excessive physical loads are negative for your joints, doing no exercises is also bad. Sedentary lifestyle can become a cause of bursitis. So moderate physical exercises are very healthy. Good way to prevent bursitis is doing yoga;
  • be careful with injuries, because trauma and damages of your femur can bring you hip bursitis in future;
  • stay away from activities that lead to overuse of your hip joint or its injury;
  • very often people can have bursitis after hip replacement or other surgery on their hip joint;
  • elderly age is a natural reason for bursitis, because joints wear out with time;
  • endocrine system disorders, for example diabetes and infection penetrating into your hip bursa, can provoke bursitis of the hip.

Diagnosis of Hip Bursitis

Bursitis of the hip is very painful, therefore, patients are forced to seek medical help to relieve the pain. Doctor usually conducts a thorough inspection while diagnosing the disease. By palpation a specialist determines which bursa is inflamed and what form of hip bursitis you have, for instance, traumatic, greater trochanteric bursitis or bilateral trochanteric bursitis.

After collecting your history of the disease your doctor may ask you to make an additional examination:

  • a special test of synovial fluid;
  • an X-ray;
  • an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

Treatment of Hip Bursitis

How to get rid of bursitis in the hip? When treating hip bursitis your doctor first of all is aimed at pain relief for you. That is why in most cases doctors prescribe painkillers when they start to heal bursitis. Another means include:

  • absorbable anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • painkillers in form of an injection or pills;
  • an injection of corticosteroid. It works quickly, removing the inflammation and pain;
  • fixation of a damaged joint or the whole thigh;
  • bed rest or limitation of loads on your hip.

Be very careful with home remedies, as you can aggravate your condition. If you feel like using any of them, consult your doctor first.

Hip bursitis treatment

Great positive effect in hip bursitis treatment is achieved with physiotherapy. Patients often get the following physical therapy procedures:

  • short-wave therapy;
  • electrophoresis with some medical agents;
  • microwave therapy;
  • UHF therapy;
  • massage;
  • therapeutic exercise (best therapy exercises for hip bursitis are selected individually by your doctor depending on the exact diagnosis in your case);
  • ozocerite or paraffin applications;
  • dry heat, etc.

In cases when medical means and physiotherapy did not cure the bursitis, the patients have to undergo surgery. During this operation surgeon relaxes patient’s tense muscles and he or she can perform excision of the trochanteric bursa that is inflamed and drain the liquid that gathers in periarticular bursa to prevent its re-accumulation.

If you have chronic hip bursitis of its severe form, the surgeon performs bursectomy, which is a complete removing of the inflamed bursa. In recent years, modern medical centers use the least traumatic method of bursa removing called arthroscopy. In this case patients better overcome such surgical procedure and restore their health condition more quickly, because functions of the hip joint are not violated, since the operation is carried out with minimal contact with the tissues of patient’s body.


All patients who had to undergo surgical treatment of bursitis must complete a rehabilitation course afterwards that will help them to return to normal lifestyle as quickly as possible. During this course patients are advised to:

  • do moderate exercises. Consult with your doctor to choose the optimal load for you;
  • get massage;
  • exercise their joints and muscles regularly. It is possible to do with a special set of exercises and stretches;
  • go hiking. To facilitate this activity it is recommended to use crutches, walking sticks or a special cane.

Hip bursitis patients may have various complications. Most often there is a transition of an acute form of the disease into a chronic one, in which all the capsules of your hip joint become inflamed simultaneously. This form of complications can limit your mobility.

Prevention of Hip Bursitis

No one is safe from the development of hip bursitis. To reduce the probability of its occurrence you should carry out preventive measures:

  • minimize loads on your leg bones and joints;
  • if necessary, lose extra weight;
  • strengthen your immunity;
  • wear a properly fitting shoe insert if you have leg length difference;
  • spend more time outdoors occupied by hiking or walking;
  • have an active lifestyle;
  • do moderate physical exercises;
  • have a full rest after a hard day’s work;
  • get enough sleep;
  • mind your healthy eating habits. Eat wholesome products and exclude fatty and fried foods, which can lead to obesity;
  • treat diseases that can provoke bursitis in time;
  • give up bad habits, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

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