What is Hip Bursitis?

Many of the major joints in the human body contain bursae, which are small sacs that function as cushions to reduce the effects of friction on bones and surrounding tissue. Inflammation of the bursae in the hip joint results in a condition known as hip bursitis, characterized by localized pain and swelling. While it is not necessarily a chronic condition, it causes long-lasting symptoms that may persist indefinitely without treatment from a medical professional.

Hip bursitis can appear in people of any age or gender, although it is more prevalent in women than men and tends to emerge in older adults. There are many different factors that can contribute to inflammation of the bursae, including previous injuries, degenerative diseases and genetics.

Causes & Symptoms

Some of the most common causes of hip bursitis include:

  • Stressing joint with overuse or strenuous activity, particularly rigorous exercise

  • Strain or damage to the hip joint from a fall or poor posture

  • Degenerative diseases of the spine

  • Previous surgical procedures on the hip

  • Spurs or deposits on the associated bones

The primary symptom of bursitis is sharp pain that may fluctuate in intensity from one day to the next. Some people suffering from the condition report particular discomfort when sleeping or laying down for long periods of time, as well as stronger pain following stressful activity. Patients may also experience localized swelling of the skin and soft tissue around the hip joint.

These symptoms are very similar to those of osteoarthritis, which is a inflammation of joint cartilage rather than bursae sacs. Individuals with osteoarthritis tend to develop pain at a slower pace, and the discomfort can spread to nearby bones and muscles more readily compared to bursitis. A formal examination may be required to determine which condition is the source of current discomfort.

Treatments

Due to the complications and stress placed on patients, there are several treatments that are preferred to surgery when addressing bursitis. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment is administered as an injection directly into the affected joint to encourage healing and reduce swelling. Some studies show it has the potential to be more effective at reducing inflammation than standard steroid injections without some of the adverse side-effects associated with those medications.

Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy Options

The widespread medical application of stem cell therapy has also opened up an exciting and promising treatment opportunity for those suffering from hip bursitis. The procedure entails extraction of cells from other areas of the body, then concentration the fluid before injecting it directly into the joint. Stem cell therapy treatment allows for the regeneration and growth of healthy tissue to replace damaged bursae in the hip.