Hip Bursitis

What is Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis is a painful inflammation of the small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near the hip joint. It’s most common in women and in people who are middle-aged or older.

Overusing the hip, for example, by running or standing too much, is the most common cause. A hip injury and certain diseases can also cause hip bursitis.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Hip Bursitis?

  • Hip pain that usually:
    • Goes to the outside of the thigh too.
    • Is worse at night.
    • Is worse when you lay on that hip or get up after sitting for a while.
  • Swelling.

What Are the Treatments for Hip Bursitis?

Hip bursitis usually goes away within a few weeks with rest, but it can come back again. Treatments include:

  • Avoiding activities that make the hip bursitis worse.
  • Using a cane or crutches for a week or so.
  • Pain medicines: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen:
    • NSAIDs like ibuprofen (e.g., Advil and Motrin) help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) relieves pain.
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the hip and make it more flexible.
  • Injection of steroids into the hip joint to relieve pain and increase function.

Surgery is rarely needed for hip bursitis. When surgery is necessary, the surgeon drains or removes the bursa.