Hip Pain or Bursitis? What You Need to Know
Similar to the discs in the spine, the hips and other joints throughout the body are supported by small fluid filled sacs known as bursa. The bursa act as shock absorbers to prevent friction, and allow the joints to glide smoothly without causing pain during movement. Bursitis results when the bursa become inflamed.
Signs and Symptoms of Hip Joint Inflammation and Bursitis
Acute, temporary hip pain is not necessarily a sign of bursitis. Some degree of stiffness and mild pain in the hips and lower back can be common and caused by anything from over exertion to prolonged sitting at work without taking sufficient breaks. However, as with most injuries, pain that persists for several weeks and beyond is generally a sign of a problem. Some of the most common hip bursitis symptoms are:
- Pain and stiffness in the affected joint
- Pain that intensifies with movement or pressure
What Causes Bursitis?
There are two forms of bursitis – trochanteric and iliopsoas. Trochanteric is the more common form and affects the joint on the outside of the hip, iliopsoas is less common and affects the inner joint of the hip, which causes pain in the groin area when it is inflamed or injured.
The most common factors involved in joint inflammation and the development of bursitis include:
- Repetitive strain and overuse injury
- Age (most common over the age of 40)
- Over pronating (when the ankles roll in towards each other)
- Joint or bone abnormalities that cause one leg to be longer than the other
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid condition
- Psoriatic arthritis
Bursitis Treatment in Los Angeles
There are several options for treating the inflammation, depending on the location and severity. Some treatment options include:
- Conservative treatment (rest, ice)
- Needle aspiration (drain excess fluid from the bursa)
- Medication (anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or prescription medication in case of infection)
- Steroid injection
- Arthroscopic surgery (in cases of chronic pain and injuries that are unresponsive to conservative and non-surgical treatment)
Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Joint Inflammation and Bursitis?
Inflammation that is caused by certain repetitive movements and physical activity may be minimized by taking certain precautions. Many of the preventive measures for bursitis are simple lifestyle adjustments that anyone can make to stay flexible and help prevent injury while both physically active and at rest. Taking time to stretch and properly warm up before exercise and physical activity is one of the most important steps to avoiding sprains, tears, and injury.
Stand up and move around – Numerous studies have found that prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of serious health problems. Sitting on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time can cause strain and tension to the bursa in the hips.
Practice good posture – This is especially important when practicing physical activities like lifting. Poor alignment can lead to pressure and strain on the joints and lower back.
Maintain a healthy weight – In addition to leading to other serious health risks like diabetes, excessive weight adds additional pressure to the joints, making them more prone to inflammation and injury.
Strength training – Strong muscles support the joints and help to relieve the kind of pressure and strain that make joints more susceptible to inflammation and pain.
When is Hip Arthroscopy Necessary?
Hip arthroscopy is used to both diagnose and correct a number of orthopedic problems and injuries. For people suffering from chronic pain or injuries that have not responded to treatment, arthroscopy allows the orthopedic surgeon to access the inside of the joint space to assess the damage, and make any necessary repairs without a traditional open surgery. Some of the most common uses for arthroscopy are:
- Loose bodies
- Labral tears
- Ligament tears/rupture
- Joint instability
- Chronic hip pain
- Cartilage and joint degeneration
- Joint sepsis
- Adhesive capsulitis
- Synovial disease
While most cases of bursitis can typically be treated conservatively, surgery may be an option for some patients if symptoms persist after medication and physical therapy. Arthroscopy works by inserting a small surgical instrument with a camera through a small incision into the joint space. The camera projects images onto a monitor which allows Dr. Meier to visualize and correct any damage to the surrounding bone or tissue. Hip arthroscopy can have many benefits over traditional open surgery, including less blood loss, faster healing and recovery times, and less risk for infection. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to both diagnose and treat injuries.
Arthroscopic Hip Surgeon in Beverly Hills
For more information on minimally invasive surgery to diagnose and treat the causes of chronic joint pain or an injury, contact Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine by calling 310-777-7845 to request a consultation with board certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert Dr. Steven Meier today.
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