What is it?

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. Bursae are tiny, jelly-like sacs located throughout the body, including around the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. They contain a small amount of fluid and are positioned between bones and soft tissues, acting as cushions to help reduce friction. There are two major bursae in the hip that typically become irritated and inflamed. One bursa covers the bony point of the hip bone called the greater trochanter. Inflammation of this bursa is called trochanteric bursitis. Another bursa - the iliopsoas bursa- is located on the hip's inside (groin side). When this bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is also sometimes referred to as hip bursitis, but the pain is located in the groin area. This condition is not as common as trochanteric bursitis but is treated similarly.

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Signs & symptoms

The main symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain at the point of the hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. The pain is usually described as sharp and intense in the early stages. Later, the pain may become more of an ache and spread across a larger hip area. Typically, the pain is worse at night, when lying on the affected hip, and when getting up from a chair after being seated for a while. It also may worsen with prolonged walking, stair climbing, or squatting.


To diagnose hip bursitis, the doctor will perform a comprehensive physical examination, looking for tenderness in the area of the point of the hip. They may also perform additional tests to rule out other possible injuries or conditions. These tests can include imaging studies, such as X-rays, bone scanning, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.


The initial treatment for hip bursitis does not involve surgery. Many people with hip bursitis can experience relief with simple lifestyle changes, including Activity modification, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Physical therapy, or Steroid injection. Surgery is rarely needed for hip bursitis. If the bursa remains inflamed and painful after trying all nonsurgical treatments, the doctor may recommend surgical removal of the bursa. Removal of the bursa does not hurt the hip, and the hip can function normally without it.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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