Hip Diagnosis

Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis is a common problem that causes pain over the outside of the upper thigh. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that allows smooth motion between two uneven surfaces. For example, in the hip, a bursa rests between the bony prominence over the outside of the hip (the greater trochanter) and the firm tendon that passed over this bone. When the bursal sac becomes inflamed, each time the tendon has to move over the bone, pain results. Because patients with hip bursitis move this tendon with each step, hip bursitis symptoms can be quite painful.

Hip bursitis can be associated with different types of patients:

  • Athletes-Hip bursitis is commonly seen in runners or athletes who participate in running-oriented sports (e.g. soccer, football, etc.).
  • Injuries-Hip bursitis is sometimes associated with patients who fall onto their upper thigh, causing a so-called traumatic bursitis. The symptoms are similar to a hip pointer.
  • Post-surgical-Patients who have had surgery, such as hip fracture surgery, or total hip replacement, may complain of pain over the outside of the hip. These symptoms are often due to irritation to the bursa causing hip bursitis.

Diagnosis of Hip Bursitis

The diagnosis of hip bursitis is made most reliably on physical examination. The most common symptoms of hip bursitis include:

  • Tenderness over the bony prominence of the upper/outer thigh
  • Swelling over the bursa

An x-ray is often obtained to ensure there are no bone spurs or calcifications that could be contributing to the problem. Occasionally, Dr. Tait may obtain an MRI if the diagnosis is unclear or if the problem does not resolve with treatment.

The Joint Replacement Center will help you decide how to best treat your hip bursitis. Call us today at (702) 565-6565 for an appointment.

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