Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Hip Bursitis

Hip bursitis is the inflammation of one or more of the bursae (small fluid-filled sacs) in the hip. These sacs act as cushions to reduce friction between tissues like bone, muscle, and tendons. When a bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and discomfort in the hip.

Common Symptoms

  • Pain on the outside of the hip and thigh
  • Tenderness and swelling in the affected area
  • Pain that worsens with activity or prolonged pressure (e.g., lying on the affected side)
  • Stiffness in the hip joint
  • Radiating pain from the hip to the thigh or buttocks

Cause & Anatomy

  • Repetitive stress or overuse: Activities that involve repetitive motion, such as running or cycling, can irritate the bursa.
  • Hip injuries: Trauma from a fall or direct impact to the hip.
  • Prolonged pressure: Long periods of lying on one side.
  • Structural abnormalities: Differences in leg length or poor posture.
  • Inflammatory conditions: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or osteoarthritis.
  • Previous surgeries: Surgical procedures around the hip area.

Anatomy of the Hip

  • Bursae: Small sacs filled with synovial fluid, located between bones and soft tissues.
  • Trochanteric bursa: Located on the outside of the hip.
  • Iliopsoas bursa: Located on the inside of the hip joint.


  • Physical examination: Assessment of pain, tenderness, and range of motion in the hip.
  • Imaging: X-rays to rule out other conditions, and MRI or ultrasound to visualize the inflamed bursa.
  • Aspiration: Removing fluid from the bursa for laboratory analysis in some cases.


  • Proper exercise technique: Ensuring correct form during physical activities.
  • Strengthening and flexibility exercises: Strengthening the muscles around the hip and maintaining flexibility.
  • Gradual increase in activity: Avoiding sudden increases in the intensity or duration of physical activity.
  • Weight management: Maintaining a healthy weight to reduce stress on the hip.
  • Proper footwear: Wearing supportive shoes to reduce impact on the hip.



  • Rest and activity modification
  • Ice therapy to reduce inflammation
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Physical therapy to improve strength and flexibility
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation


  • Rarely needed but may involve bursectomy (removal of the inflamed bursa) if conservative treatments fail.


  • Initial phase: Focus on reducing pain and inflammation with rest and ice.
  • Physical therapy: Gradual introduction of stretching and strengthening exercises.
  • Activity modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms until fully healed.
  • Return to activity: Gradual return to normal activities and sports, guided by a physical therapist.


How long does it take to recover from hip bursitis?
Recovery can take a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity and adherence to treatment.

Can hip bursitis come back?
Yes, especially if the underlying causes (like poor biomechanics or repetitive stress) are not addressed.

Is hip bursitis the same as hip arthritis?
No, hip bursitis involves inflammation of the bursa, while arthritis involves inflammation of the joint itself.

Can I exercise with hip bursitis?
Yes, but you should focus on low-impact activities and avoid those that exacerbate your symptoms.

What should I do if my symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatment?
Consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and possibly more advanced treatments.

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