We have bursae strategically placed throughout our bodies. These sacs contain a small amount of fluid, and they act as cushions between our bones and soft tissues, helping to reduce friction. They are especially important in our joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
When we overuse an area where there are bursae, they become inflamed. This is bursitis.
In our hips we have two major bursae that are prone to inflammation. One bursa covers the bony point of the hip bone called the greater trochanter. Inflammation of this bursa is called trochanteric bursitis.
Another bursa — the iliopsoas bursa — is located on the inside (the groin side) of the hip. Inflammation in this bursa is not as common as in the trochanter, and the pain occurs in the groin.
Dr. Trujillo helps our patients calm the inflammation of trochanteric bursitis at our Show Low practice.
What are the symptoms of trochanteric bursitis?
The main symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain at the point of the hip. The pain usually extends to the outside of the thigh area. In the early stages, the pain is usually described as sharp and intense. Later, the pain may transition into more of an ache, and it can spread to a larger area.
Typically, the pain with trochanteric bursitis is worse at night when the person is lying on the affected hip. It also can be painful to get up out of a chair after sitting for a while. Trochanteric bursitis often worsens with prolonged walking, stair climbing, or squatting.
Who gets trochanteric bursitis?
Hip bursitis can affect anyone, but it is more common in women and middle-aged or elderly people. These are risk factors for developing this form of bursitis:
- Repetitive stress injury — Running, climbing stairs, bicycling, or standing for long periods of time causes inflammation.
- Hip injury — Injuries from falls or simply lying on that side of the body for too long can lead to inflammation.
- Spine disease — Scoliosis, arthritis of the lumbar spine, and other spine problems cause inflammation.
- Leg-length inequality — If one of your legs is significantly shorter than the other leg, this tilt affects the bursae when you walk.
- Rheumatoid arthritis — This form of arthritis attacks the joints, including the bursae in them.
- Previous surgery — If you’ve had surgery around the hip of have had prosthetic implants placed, this can irritate the bursa.
- Bone spurs or calcium deposits — These can develop within the tendons that attach muscles to the trochanter, irritating the bursa.
If you have chronic hip pain, it may be trochanteric bursitis. In January’s second blog, we’ll get into treatments of this painful condition. Until then, if you’re having hip pain, give Dr. Trujillo a call at (855) 768-4968 to schedule an appointment at Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic Associates.