So what is hip bursitis? It's one of those names many people are familiar with, but few actually know want it is. Put simply, it's an inflammation of the bursa that covers the part of the thighbone (femur) called the greater trochanter.
These bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the spaces between muscles, tendons, and bones. Either through an injury or disease, the bursa becomes irritated or inflamed, gradually thickening and causing pain.
Most cases are ascribed to irregular patterns of standing, running or walking, often due to unequal leg length. Other causes include:
- Minor accidents
- Previous hip surgery (including hip replacement)
- Scoliosis or other spinal diseases
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The principal symptom is pain, which may be on the outer thigh, over the bone, or along the outside of the leg down to the knee.
Treatment focuses on reducing inflammation, and correcting any imbalances in gait. In rare cases the bursa may have to be removed in surgery. However this is relatively minor procedure which will heal within days rather than weeks.