Hip Bursitis

Bursitis is a swelling and soreness (inflammation) of a fluid-filled sac (bursa). This sac overlies and protects the joints.


  • Injury.

  • Overuse of the muscles surrounding the joint.

  • Arthritis.

  • Gout.

  • Infection.

  • Cold weather.

  • Inadequate warm-up and conditioning prior to activities.

The cause may not be known.


  • Mild to severe irritation.

  • Tenderness and swelling over the outside of the hip.

  • Pain with motion of the hip.

  • If the bursa becomes infected, a fever may be present. Redness, tenderness, and warmth will develop over the hip.

Symptoms usually lessen in 3 to 4 weeks with treatment, but can come back.


If conservative treatment does not work, your caregiver may advise draining the bursa and injecting cortisone into the area. This may speed up the healing process. This may also be used as an initial treatment of choice.


  • Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours while awake for the first 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your skin.

  • Rest the painful joint as much as possible, but continue to put the joint through a normal range of motion at least 4 times per day. When the pain lessens, begin normal, slow movements and usual activities to help prevent stiffness of the hip.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Use crutches to limit weight bearing on the hip joint, if advised.

  • Elevate your painful hip to reduce swelling. Use pillows for propping and cushioning your legs and hips.

  • Gentle massage may provide comfort and decrease swelling.


  • Your pain increases even during treatment, or you are not improving.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have heat and inflammation over the involved bursa.

  • You have any other questions or concerns.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.