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Hip Bursitis

Hip Bursitis: Symptoms, Treatment, & Recovery

Hip bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae in the hip. Bursae are sacs of fluid throughout the body. They act as cushions and reduce friction between bones and soft tissues. This inflammation causes pain that can be severe. It is necessary to treat hip bursitis so that pain does not affect your quality of life or worsen over time. Hip bursitis pain can also travel to other body parts if left untreated.

Risk Factors of Hip Bursitis

Certain factors can increase one’s risk for hip bursitis. A primary risk factor is one’s age. Middle-aged individuals and older are at a higher risk than those younger. In addition, women are at an increased risk in comparison to men. Being an athlete, having scoliosis, and previous surgical history are also risk factors to consider. 

How to Prevent Hip Bursitis

Although it is not entirely avoidable, there are several ways to help prevent hip bursitis.


A stretch before and after exercise provides much-needed preparation and relief to muscles used strenuously. 


Low-impact exercises will strengthen muscles which can prevent injuries such as hip bursitis.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight increases the excess stress on your joints, including the hip area.

Take Breaks

Taking breaks during work and exercise will allow your muscles to heal between uses, decreasing the risk of overall injury.

Kneel Cushions

For activities requiring kneeling, using cushions will aid the hips in decreasing the stress that they are receiving. Whether kneeling while cleaning or exercising, cushions will benefit the user.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

When experiencing hip bursitis, your hip area may hurt when moved or pressed on, appear swollen or discolored, and feel stiff during movement.

More severe symptoms include being disabled by pain, not being able to move your hip normally, having a fever, and a rash over the affected area.

How is Hip Bursitis Diagnosed?

To diagnose hip bursitis, your doctor will perform an in-depth physical examination, looking for tenderness in the area of the point of the hip. Additional testing may be required to rule out other possible injuries or conditions. Imaging tests can include X-rays, MRI scans, and bone scanning.

Treatment for Hip Bursitis

We have a variety of treatment options for hip bursitis. The main two involve either surgical or nonsurgical treatment. For those who have quite a serious hip bursitis condition that is causing excessive pain and discomfort and interfering with their daily life, a physician may suggest surgical treatment. 

On the other hand, for those with a less severe condition, a nonsurgical treatment would likely suffice. Make sure to consult with your physician to ensure you get the best possible treatment option. 

Non-surgical Treatment

Non-surgical treatment options are the preferred way to treat hip bursitis. Depending on what your physician deems fit, there are several options. These include:

Activity Monitoring

While healing from hip bursitis, you should not partake in activities that worsen your symptoms.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

These medications include over-the-counter options such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Piroxicam, and Celecoxib. While these are not long-term solutions, they can provide relief while on the road to recovery.

Accessibility Devices

Resources such as walking canes and crutches can be beneficial for short-term use when healing from hip bursitis. They take pressure off the hips and allow healing to take place faster.

Physical Therapy

You may be referred to physical therapy by your physician if they see that it will benefit you in the healing process. Once you visit a physical therapist, you may be able to continue treatment on your own.

Steroid Injection

Injections can provide temporary relief for hip bursitis pain. These can be especially helpful in individuals that desire to continue their lifestyle in the best way possible while managing their pain.

Surgical Treatment

Surgery is rare for the treatment of hip bursitis. However, it may be deemed beneficial by a healthcare provider. Removing the bursa is often the route to success when considering surgical fixes. The hip can function normally without the bursa. This surgery is an outpatient procedure. Therefore, you will be able to return home the same day.

Recovery Time

If your hip bursitis requires surgery, you can expect to be up and walking by the next day. In cases of nonsurgical treatment, the timeline does vary. However, with the supervision of your physician, you should look to improve within a couple of months.

Leading Hip Care at Raleigh Orthopaedic

At Raleigh Orthopaedic, care for hip bursitis is unmatched. We have been serving Wake County for over 100 years! We provide hip treatment at six different clinics throughout the area. These locations include Raleigh, North Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Holly Spring, and West Cary-Panther Creek. Contact us if you have any questions or to make an appointment with one of our hip specialists today!

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