Diagnosis and Treatment of Hip Bursitis in Wake County

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae in the hip. Bursae are sacs of fluid throughout the body which act as cushions and reduce friction between bones and soft tissues. The inflammation associated with bursitis causes pain that can be severe, and if left untreated, the pain can travel to other parts of the body as well. Proper treatment for hip bursitis is essential in keeping the pain from worsening over time and affecting your quality of life. Learn more about hip bursitis from our orthopedic specialists at Raleigh Orthopaedic.

Causes of Hip Bursitis

Certain factors can increase one’s risk of developing hip bursitis. The risk of hip bursitis increases with age, with middle-aged and older individuals at a higher risk than those who are younger. Women tend to develop the condition more often than men. Additional risk factors for hip bursitis include being an athlete, having scoliosis, and having a previous surgical history.

Symptoms of Hip Bursitis

It is important to be aware of the potential symptoms of hip bursitis, so you can seek out proper treatment and find relief from your pain. Symptoms of this condition can include:

  • Pain in the hip area when moving
  • Pain when the hip area is pressed
  • A swollen or discolored hip
  • Stiffness when moving the hip
  • In cases of severe hip bursitis, symptoms may include:
    • Disabling pain
    • Inability to move the hip normally
    • Fever
    • 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. When you come to Raleigh Orthopaedic with concerns about hip pain, your doctor will work with you to determine the cause and use your diagnosis to formulate a personalized treatment plan. We offer orthopedic X-rays at all clinic locations.

Treatment Options for Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis can be treated both surgically and non-surgically. Surgery is normally reserved for those with severe hip bursitis and who experience excessive pain and discomfort that interferes with their daily life. Your physician at Raleigh Orthopaedic will work with you to determine the ideal treatment option for your unique case of bursitis.

Nonsurgical Treatment

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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 for faster healing.

Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is another potential option for non-surgical treatment of hip bursitis. Your therapist will work with you to design a specific treatment program focused on your unique needs. Physical therapy can help to reduce swelling in the hip while also improving motion, flexibility, and strength.

Steroid Injections
Injections into the bursa of the hip can help to reduce pain and swelling in the area. Steroid injections are sometimes considered when other conservative treatments have not been successful.

Surgical Treatment Options

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Surgery is rare for the treatment of hip bursitis. Patients usually find relief from pain and inflammation via conservative treatment methods, but in cases where non-surgical treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be recommended. As the hip can function normally without the bursa, surgical treatment usually focuses on removing the inflamed bursa. Surgery for hip bursitis is performed on an outpatient basis, so you will be able to return home the same day. Your surgeon at Raleigh Orthopaedic will make sure you have all the information you need for a successful recovery.

Recovery from Surgery for Hip Bursitis

If your case of hip bursitis requires surgery, you can expect to be up and walking by the next day. Recovery time for removal of the hip bursa is generally short, and your doctor may recommend the temporary use of a cane or crutches to help with your mobility in the first few days after surgery. In cases of non-surgical treatment, your recovery timeline can vary. However, with the supervision of your physician, you should look to improve within a couple of months.

How to Prevent Hip Bursitis

Although it is not entirely avoidable, there are several methods that are recommended to prevent hip bursitis.

  • Stretch – A stretch before and after exercise provides much-needed preparation and relief to muscles used strenuously. 
  • Exercise – Low-impact exercises will strengthen muscles, which can prevent certain hip conditions and 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 use, decreasing the risk of overall injury.
  • Kneel Cushions – For activities requiring kneeling, using cushions will decrease the stress on the hips. Cushions can be especially beneficial while cleaning or exercising.

Leading Hip Care at Raleigh Orthopaedic

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At Raleigh Orthopaedic, we are proud to provide unmatched care for hip bursitis in Wake County. We provide treatment for a wide range of hip injuries and conditions at several clinics throughout the area, serving patients and athletes of all ages. You can find our clinics in Raleigh, Wakefield, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, and West Cary-Panther Creek. Along with general orthopedic care, you can trust Raleigh Orthopaedic for total joint replacement, orthopedic urgent care, sports medicine, and more. To schedule an appointment with one of our hip specialists, please give us a call or book an appointment online today.