Hip Bursitis - Treatment

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What is the treatment for hip bursitis?

The treatment of any bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection. Noninfectious or aseptic hip bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Occasionally, it requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. This procedure involves removal of the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions. It can be performed in the doctor's office. Sometimes the fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Frequently, there is inadequate fluid accumulation for aspiration. Noninfectious hip bursitis can be treated with an injection of cortisone medication, often with an anesthetic, into the swollen bursa. This is sometimes done at the same time as the aspiration procedure.

Patients with hip bursitis can often benefit by weight reduction, stretching exercises, and wearing proper footwear for exercise activities. Sometimes physical-therapy programs can be helpful. Generally, patients should avoid hills and stairs and direct pressure on the affected hip (sleep on the other side), when possible, while symptoms are present. Affected people should also avoid exercising on inclined surfaces and stairs, especially running hills, until symptoms have resolved.

Septic bursitis (rare in the hip) requires even further evaluation by a doctor. This is unusual in the hip bursa but does occur. The bursal fluid can be examined in the laboratory to identify the precise bacteria causing the infection. Septic bursitis requires antibiotic therapy, often intravenously. Repeated aspiration of the infected fluid may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy) may also be necessary.

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