What is Hip Bursitis

Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between moving parts in your body’s joints. Hip bursitis is inflammation or irritation of one or more of the bursae (shown in blue) in your hip.

Local Sports Medicine Physician

Dr. Ellen Smith

Dr. Ellen Smith

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Dr. Vinay Chopra

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Dr. Naresh Rao

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Dr. Patrick Ling, MD, MPH, FCFP(EM), DipSportMed, RMSK, discusses a condition called Jumper’s Knee (Patellar Tendonopathy) and it’s treatment recommendations.

Hip bursitis is a common condition. It is a painful condition involving the lateral aspect of the hip. The other name for this is lateral trochanteric pain syndrome.

The way you know you have it is you obviously have pain in the side of your hip, but oftentimes people clasp their hip with their hand, forming the letter C. Other things that can mimic hip bursitis are hip conditions within the joint, even back conditions, and muscle conditions in that area.

It is a common condition affecting runners. The reason it affects runners in particular is that the action of running requires significant stability of the lateral hip stabilizers. The reason it develops in runners is that with increasing volume, running, and some training methods, it can develop, especially if there’s excessive running within a short period of time.

Hip bursitis is largely a clinical diagnosis, which means in the combination of clinical signs and symptoms, a physician can make that diagnosis fairly accurately. However, in the case where there may be other conditions that might be entertained, such as joint pathologies, muscle pathologies, nerve, or even spinal pathologies, further imaging and investigations may be indicated.

Hip bursitis is treated with anti-inflammatories, rest, and ice, and to try to minimize friction over the lateral hip. However, the mainstay of treatment of hip bursitis is seeing a physical therapist who can assess your gait, do a run gait analysis, and also to assess hip stability during mobility, or running.

Physical therapy would address some of these deficiencies through a variety of exercises and stretches. However, in some instances, hip bursitis may be refractory, or nonresponsive to conventional treatments.

In those instances, it may be necessary to consult with a sports medicine physician or musculoskeletal physician for perhaps injection type therapies in that area.

Presenter: Dr. Patrick Ling, Sports Medicine Physician, Saskatoon, SK

Local Practitioners: Sports Medicine Physician

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