Hip Bursitis

Pain, tenderness and swelling on the outside of your hip

What is hip bursitis?

Hip bursitis, also known as trochanteric bursitis, is an inflammation of the bursae in your hip joint. Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion and lubricate your joints, helping to reduce friction between bones, muscles, and tendons. When a bursa becomes inflamed, it can cause pain and discomfort in the affected area.

Bursitis usually occurs at joints that experience repetitive movements such as the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, and heel.

Hip bursitis usually occurs in the trochanteric bursa (located outside the hip) and can affect anyone.

What causes hip bursitis?

Hip bursitis can be caused by the following:

  • Trauma or injury: a direct hit or blow to the point of the hip can cause the bursae to become inflamed, resulting in bursitis.
  • Repetitive hip movements: activities such as running or climbing up stairs can cause overuse of the hip joint. This puts stress on it, which can lead to inflammation of the bursae or bursitis.
  • Other medical conditions: medical conditions such as arthritis, scoliosis, psoriasis, or gout can result in bursitis.  
  • Infection: occurs when the bursa gets infected with bacteria (e.g., staphylococcus) resulting in infectious bursitis.
hip bursitis
Hip bursitis occurs when the trochanteric bursa becomes inflamed.

What are the symptoms of hip bursitis?

Symptoms of hip bursitis include: 

  • Pain in your hip
  • Tenderness and swelling on the outside of your hip
  • Pain that worsens with prolonged activity
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Stiffness and reduced range of motion in your hip joint
  • Aching or burning sensation in the outer hip area
  • Discomfort when climbing stairs or getting up from a seated position
If you notice any of the symptoms, make an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Puah KL is our Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Artisan Sports & Orthopaedic Surgery. He used to serve the sports service of Singapore General Hospital - the highest volume trauma centre for orthopaedics in Singapore.

Is hip bursitis painful?

Hip bursitis can be painful, it is one of the main symptoms of this condition, and it is often felt in the outer hip or thigh. The pain may be sharp or dull, and it can be exacerbated by activities that involve bending or stretching the affected hip joint.

You may experience worse pain at night, making it difficult to sleep on the affected side, and may even cause stiffness and tenderness. If left untreated, hip bursitis may worsen over time and continue to make performing daily activities difficult.

hip pain
Hip bursitis is usually accompanied by pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the hip.

Who is at risk of hip bursitis in Singapore?

Anyone can develop hip bursitis, but certain factors may increase the risk. 

These include:

  • Age: the risk of hip bursitis increases with age. 
  • Hobbies or occupations: repetitive activities such as gardening, painting, construction work, or playing musical instruments can increase the risk of hip bursitis. 
  • History of hip injury or surgery: hip injuries and surgeries such as prosthetic hip implants can increase the risk of hip bursitis.
  • Poor posture: some medical conditions such as arthritis or scoliosis can give rise to poor posture which puts excess pressure or strain on the hip joint, increasing the risk of hip bursitis.
  • Other medical conditions: such as rheumatoid arthritis can make you more prone to hip bursitis.

How is hip bursitis diagnosed?

Hip bursitis is diagnosed in the following ways: 

  • Physical examination: your orthopaedist will ask about your medical history and any previous injuries, check for swelling, tenderness, and your range of motion.
  • Imaging tests: x-rays, computed tomography scans (CT-scan), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be performed for diagnosis and to rule out other conditions or stress fractures.
  • Laboratory tests: blood tests or an aspiration of the joint will be conducted to test the fluid for the presence of inflammation or gout

What are the treatment options for hip bursitis in Singapore?

Treatment options may vary between individuals depending on the severity of the condition and individual circumstances.

Treatment options include:

  • Rest: rest the affected joint and avoid activities that may aggravate it.
  • Medications: pain relievers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ▸ will be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Physiotherapy: physiotherapy involves gentle and therapeutic exercises to help strengthen your hip muscles and reduce the pressure on the bursa.
  • Injections: corticosteroid injections can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Surgery: in rare cases, you may be required to undergo surgery to drain the inflamed bursa.
Corticosteroid injections help to reduce inflammation and pain.
Frequently asked questions
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Feeling aches and pains?

Book a consultation with us for a more comprehensive diagnosis and a personalised treatment plan best suited to your needs.

Feeling aches and pains?

Book a consultation with us for a more comprehensive diagnosis and a personalised treatment plan best suited to your needs. What are you experiencing now?

For emergency appointment, please call or Whatsapp us at (65) 8909 8877. We will arrange for a limousine to send you to our clinic.
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For emergency appointment, please call or Whatsapp us at (65) 8909 8877. We will arrange for a limousine to send you to our clinic.
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