Hip Bursitis

What is hip bursitis, and how is it treated?

At OrthoNeuro, we offer the most advanced care and treatment plans for all hip conditions, including hip bursitis. One of our top priorities is to educate you on the details of your hip condition, addressing all questions and concerns you have.

Bursitis is the condition where the bursae swell. 

The bursae are fluid-filled sacs that cushion bones and surrounding tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

When the enlarged bursae are put under pressure or the affected joint is continued to be used actively it can produce significant pain.

What Causes Hip Bursitis to Flare Up?

The most common causes and risk factors include:

  • Hip injury or trauma
  • Repetitive pressure or friction
  • Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Excess weight
  • Problems that affect biomechanics
  • Bone spurs or calcium deposits
  • Previous hip surgery
  • Age and gender
  • History of inflammation of the bursa
  • Bacterial infection of a bursa

What Does the Doctor Prescribe for Bursitis?

At OrthoNeuro, the orthopedic surgeons offer the most advanced care and treatment plans. Treatment for bursitis has the primary goal of reducing inflammation.

The best way to decrease inflammation will depend on why bursitis has flared up. In cases of septic subacromial bursitis, when the bursa is infected, you should also take antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection.

Non-Surgical Hip Bursitis Treatment

Recommended treatments may include:

  • Rest and activity modification– This is effective when hip bursitis is a result of injury or overuse. Your health care provider may advise using a cane, crutches, or shoe inserts to take pressure off the hip.
  • Ice – An ice pack can help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)– Anti-inflammatory medications or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and cox-2 inhibitors (Celebrex®) can reduce swelling and inflammation, and relieve pain associated with hip bursitis.
  • Topical anti-inflammatory medications– Some over-the-counter topical pain relievers contain salicylates, which have a mild anti-inflammatory effect. They generally have fewer side effects than oral NSAIDs too.
  • Aspiration to drain the hip bursa– If the hip bursa has significant swelling, the physician may recommend aspirating, or draining, the bursa using a needle.
  • Corticosteroid injections– These are used if rest, NSAIDs, and/or physical therapy are not successful. The doctor may use ultrasound to accurately place the corticosteroid injection into the bursa because the affected bursa lies deep beneath the skin.
  • Physical therapy – Your family doctor may prescribe physical therapy for treatment and prevent future flare-ups.
  • Weight loss – This will form part of a treatment plan if excess weight is a possible underlying cause.
  • Antibiotics – Septic trochanteric bursitis requires treatment with antibiotics. The antibiotic will be chosen according to the microorganism that is causing the infection(often staphylococcus aureus).

Treatments should continue until all hip bursitis symptoms are gone. Only then should you return to your normal activities.

Surgery for Hip Bursitis

In some extreme cases of chronic hip bursitis OrthoNeuro may suggest surgery, such as:

  • Bursectomy: Removal of the affected bursa.
  • Tendon repair and iliotibial (IT) band release: Surgery can be done to lengthen the IT band to release the tendon from causing friction and irritation to the trochanteric bursa.
  • Osteotomy of the greater trochanter: A surgeon will shave off a small portion of the protruding greater trochanter bone to reduce the friction and stress that caused the hip pain.

How Long Does It Take for Hip Bursitis to Heal?

Most people will see bursitis pain and swelling go away from anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.

A patient’s recovery will depend on factors such as the cause of bursitis as well as other conditions causing joint pain, such as tendonitis, gout, or arthritis.

Also if you continue to put pressure on the area or continue with repetitive movements of the joint, recovery will take longer.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Hip Specialist Today!

If you have severe or persistent hip pain that interferes with your life, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Hip Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you. Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Hip Specialists


“Great experience for a right total hip replacement.“
Billy T.