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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Comment from: karen, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I have had bursa pain since 2007, I have been treated by my orthopedic doctor. I have had 9 injections and 5 radiation treatments. I take pain medications frequently. I am active in my house work and my yard, but I do suffer constant pain. When it started it was on left hip and now in both hips. I do have trouble sleeping on left side more. I have spinal stenosis as well, so I am always with some pain. I am past due for more treatment but going back and forth to the doctor is wearing me down as well.

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Comment from: 1akmaninfl, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 14

I have had left hip bursitis for over a year. Within the last 3 months, I have had 3 cortisone shots by orthopedist, other prescription medicines and physiotherapy concentrating on the hip but no relief at all; except only if I curtail walking, which wiped out golf, fishing, museum visits, etc. I cannot take OTC medications because of kidney issue. Surgery is the next topic with the orthopedist. Doctor says there is nothing wrong with the hip structure and I can do whatever I want. It's a trade-off; activity equals pain tolerance. Walking a steep incline the other day, I had the same pain in the same spot, right hip.

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