There are tiny, jelly-like sacs located in various parts of your body. The sacks are medically referred to as “bursa”. Your bursa is found around the shoulders, knees, heels, elbows, and hips. These little sacs have a small amount of fluid, hence the name. Normally, they are positioned between soft tissues and bones. Their main function is to act as cushions or “shock absorbers” in order to help reduce friction in your body joints including the hips. 

Whenever these jelly-like sacs inflame, they cause pain in the affected joints. This form of inflammation is called “bursitis”. Therefore,  hip bursitis is simply an inflammation or swelling of your bursa within the hip. Read on to get a clear picture of what is hip or trochanteric bursitis, hip bursitis anatomy, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

What is Hip (Trochanteric) Bursitis?

As explained above, hip bursitis is a condition that causes your bursa to inflame. Usually, two major bursae in your hip become irritated and swollen. One of these two bursae covers your hip’s bony point or the greater trochanter. This is why the inflammation of this particular bursa type is referred to as trochanteric bursitis.

The second major bursa is known as the iliopsoas bursa. This type of bursa is located within the groin region of your hip. Once inflamed, your iliopsoas bursa causes hip bursitis and pain in your groin area. This type of hip bursitis is not common compared to trochanteric bursitis. However, both conditions are treated similarly. 

If you experience pain above the right hip, outer hip pain, or posterior hip pain, our orthopedic doctors at Sforzo l Dillingham l Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine will take care of your treatment. Our doctors offer diagnosis services coupled with stem cell therapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection solutions to help reduce your hip bursitis pain. 

Dr. Charles E. Stewart, has many years of practical experience in helping patients with swollen hips and other orthopedic medical conditions return to their active lifestyles. Dr. Stewart uses state of the art surgical procedures to maximize both short and long-term functionality of the affected hip joint. 

The doctors at Sforzo l Dillingham l Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine provide expert healthcare services in the treatment of orthopedic problems involving elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, and hips. These are areas within your body that have jelly-like sacs (bursae). 

As board-certified orthopedic surgeons and fellowship-trained in various orthopedic surgeries, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques to perform many procedures. Some of these helpful procedures include:

  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
  • Arthroscopic elbow and wrist procedures
  • Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair
  • Hip joint replacement
  • Arthritis surgery
  • Fracture repair
  • Foot and ankle disorders
  • Tendon repair
  • Partial knee replacement
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction
  • Total knee and hip arthroplasty (replacement)
  • Reconstruction of the failed knee and hip arthroplasties
  • Reconstruction of spinal deformities
  • Microscopic cervical disc replacement

Our proven medical procedures and therapies are tailored to provide lasting solutions to individual patients based on their conditions. 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our orthopedic doctors by calling 941.378.5100. You can also reach out to us through our Fax Number, 941.378.2805.

Hip Bursitis Anatomy

Your hip joint is simply a ball-and-socket joint. This vital part of your body plays a significant role in bearing your entire body weight while walking, running, standing, or jumping. Certainly, your hip joint bears the burden of your most crucial body activities. As one part of your flexible joints within the bodied, the hip joint allows you to perform a wide range of motion all the time. 

A round, cup-like structure (referred to as acetabulum) forms the socket. The ball is formed by the rounded head of your femur. Structurally, this joint is surrounded by several tough muscles and ligaments. Muscles and ligaments are responsible for preventing cases of dislocation and other related forms of hip injuries such as tendonitis of the hip, greater trochanteric bursitis, swollen hip, and hip hurt when walking. 

Symptoms of Hip (Trochanteric) Bursitis

There are many hip bursitis symptoms. However, the main trochanteric bursitis symptom is pain. Usually, this hip bursitis pain occurs at the point of your hip before extending toward the outside of your thigh area. 

During the early stages of trochanteric bursitis, the bursitis pain or posterior hip pain is normally sharp and intense. In some advanced stages of your hip bursitis, this pain may change to an ache before spreading across a vast area of your hip. 

The pain becomes worse at night time, when lying on the injured hip or when standing up from a chair after long hours of sitting. Prolonged walking, squatting, and stair climbing can worsen your tendonitis of the hip.

Other hip bursitis symptoms include:

  • Acute bursitis that flares over some hours or days
  • Chronic bursitis lasting for  several days or weeks  
  • Thickened bursa
  • Limited movement around the hips
  • Weakened muscles or atrophy in the hip area

Who gets bursitis in their Hip and Risk Factors of Trochanteric Bursitis

Hip bursitis affects anyone, both young and old, men and women included. However, this condition is more prevalent in women than men. It is most common in middle-aged and elderly people. 

Here are its risk factors:

  • Repetitive stress or overuse injury when running, climbing stairs, cycling, or standing for long periods. 
  • Hip injury, especially to the point of the hip due to falling onto your hip, bumping your hip, or lying on one side of your body for a longer period. 
  • Spine diseases such as arthritis of the lower (lumbar) spine, scoliosis, and other spine conditions may affect your walking ability.
  • Leg-length inequality where one leg is significantly shorter than the other causes the irritation of your hip bursa
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of your bursa
  • Previous surgery around your hip area or prosthetic implants that irritates your bursa

Hip Bursitis Diagnosis

Your orthopedic doctor may order several imaging diagnostic tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, or bone scans. In particular, the doctors may suggest the following tests to confirm if you have bursitis or other conditions:

  • X-ray: The X-ray test will help rule out other causes of your pain like osteoarthritis or a stress fracture.
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI may be ordered by your orthopedic surgeon to confirm or rule out other causes of your hip pain. MRI will show a detailed view of the soft tissues around the hip joint. It will also help detect abnormalities such as the damaged tendon or swollen bursa.

Hip Bursitis Treatments

  • Nonsurgical Treatment

Doctors who administer nonsurgical treatment for bursitis include physiatrists (rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation specialists), primary care providers, orthopedic surgeons, and sports medicine doctors. The doctors will recommend nonsurgical bursitis treatment options that include enough rest, activity modification, hip bursitis exercises, trochanteric bursitis exercises, and a cold pack or ice application to the sore hip. Your doctor may suggest the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs), topical anti-inflammatory medications, or corticosteroid injections, or recommend a draining/aspiration process to drain the bursa.

  • Surgical Treatment

If your hip bursitis is somehow challenging, your surgeon may use surgical treatment options such as bursectomy, tendon repair & iliotibial (IT) band release,  and osteotomy of the greater trochanter. Your bursitis surgery hip may involve a combination of these procedures depending on hip bursitis symptoms and other underlying health factors. 

How do you prevent Hip bursitis?

You can prevent hip bursitis in the following ways: –

  1. Lose weight if you are overweight
  2. Avoid repetitive activities/actions that may put stress on your hips
  3. Maintain strength and flexibility of your hip muscles
  4. Use a properly fitting pair of shoes

Final Thought

The primary hip bursitis treatment goal is to reduce the inflammation of your hip bursa. The most appropriate way to reduce inflammation depends solely on the severity and underlying causes of the inflammation. Your healthcare provider may prescribe some antibiotics to stop the spread of infection caused by septic bursitis. Visit to learn more about trochanteric bursitis and its treatment.


What is the fastest way to heal the bursitis of the hip?

The application of ice or cold packs on the sore hip provides fast ways to help relieve symptoms.

Does trochanteric bursitis ever go away?

Yes! Most trochanteric bursitis problems resolve on their own after a few days or weeks.

Is walking good for hip bursitis?

Compared to running and jumping, walking is a better option for hip bursitis.

What happens if hip bursitis goes untreated?

Untreated hip bursitis can cause a permanent enlargement or thickening of your bursa. This may result in chronic pain and inflammation.

Focusing On You

As healthcare is ever changing, Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, is doing things differently…

  • About Christopher R. Sforzo, M.D. Christopher R. Sforzo, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity surgery. He provides expert care in the treatment of problems involving the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. He performs many procedures using mini
  • About Christopher L. Dillingham, M.D. Christopher L. Dillingham, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand, shoulder, and arm surgery. He specializes in the treatment of problems with rotator cuff disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve injury, joint replacement, arthritis sur
  • About Charles E. Stewart, M.D. Charles E. Stewart M.D. is a board-certified, Johns Hopkins fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult complex reconstruction of the lower extremity.  His specialties include lower extremity sports injuries, meniscal injuries, ACL reconstruction, partial knee replacement,
  • About Philip A. Meinhardt, M.D. Philip A. Meinhardt, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained spine surgeon. He specializes in adult spinal surgeries including reconstruction of spinal deformities, minimally invasive/microscopic spinal procedures, decompression, spinal instrumentation, fusion



After tearing my rotator cuff, not only was I experiencing pain but my quality of life was diminished. Playing golf and working out were painful rather than enjoyable. Graci and I sought out Fellowship trained Dr. Christopher Sforzo and the team at Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine. I was treated non-surgically and am now pain free, mobile and enjoying everything I did before.

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I was visiting the area looking at property and considering a full time re-location from Minnesota when I was in a traffic accident. The result was a very painful shoulder injury that would ultimately require bilateral RTC repairs. I was unable to undertake regular day-to-day activities or participate in my favorite sport – tennis. It was essential that I choose a shoulder specialist that could quickly set…

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Over the years we had seen several orthopedists in town but were never impressed. They seemed to lack knowledge or compassion or both. Then when Liza was in high school, she went to Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine for a minor sports injury. They not only diagnosed her somewhat obscure problem, but explained things in a way that she understood without being patronizing…

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