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Ask the Docs | Hip Bursitis

Ask the Docs
Posted December 12, 2006

  • AthletiCo Bulls' Injury Report

    Patient Question:
    While playing basketball last month I fell and landed on my hip. It didn’t seem to hurt much then, but as time has passed I have had an increasing pain at the point of my hip. Is this something that will go away on its own?

    Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph:
    It sounds like you are experiencing a hip bursitis or “trochanteric bursitis.” This is an inflammation of the “bursa” located outside the greater trochanter (hip point). A bursa is a fluid filled sac, with a jelly-like feel that helps to protect/cushion the bones from overlying tissue. It also helps in reducing the friction that may be caused when your muscles glide over the hip bone. Hip injuries are not as common in basketball as in contact sports such as football, but they do occur. The Bulls’ Andres Nocioni has recently experienced some hip discomfort.

    There are many causes that can create this inflammation of the bursa. A sudden fall or blunt trauma is one main cause. This could have happened when you fell on the basketball court. Another important cause is repetitive stress or overuse of the hip. Although you may have aggravated your trochanter bursa when you fell, extended stress of the joint by continuing to play basketball could have contributed to the inflammation.

    Symptoms of trochanteric bursitis include a sharp pain at the point of your hip. Usually this pain starts out as a shooting pain, and as your body tries to cope with the inflamed bursitis, the pain turns into an achy, throbbing feeling.

    Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph Dr. Bush-Joseph
    Treatment Options:
    In most cases trochanteric bursitis can be treated with modified activity levels, taking an anti-inflammatory medication, and in severe cases using a walking cane or crutches. A sports medicine orthopaedic physician may recommend an injection of corticosteroids to help in relieving the pain caused by the inflammation.

    If all of these initial treatments do not lead to the reduction of the inflamed bursitis, the physician may recommend the removal of the hip bursa. This is usually only recommended in the most severe cases. The procedure is typically performed outpatient, and the patient can expect to be up and moving within a few days after the surgery.

    For more information about Dr. Bush-Joseph and the Sports Medicine physicians of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, call 877.MD BONES or visit them online at www.rushortho.com.

    The information contained on this page is intended only for general public education, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for direct medical advice. This information should not replace necessary medical consultations with a qualified orthopaedic physician.



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