What is a Bursitis Hip and Bursitis Knee?

Bursitis Hip or Bursitis Knee, is basically a collection of fluid due to inflammation of the bursa around these joints. Bursa is a small sac, which is filled with a small amount of fluid. They tend to be present where there is some friction and they help to cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints. Inflammation of the bursa is called bursitis. 

Bursitis of the Hip

Bursitis around the Hip

There can be more than one area around the hip where the inflamed bursa can cause symptoms and pain. Mostly this can be in 2 areas as follows:

  1. Trochanteric bursitis: This is inflammation of the bursa present at the bony prominence on the side of your hip joint bone called the greater trochanter. This causes pain at the side of the hip (over the pocket area).
  2. Ilio-psoas bursitis: this bursa is located on the inside (groin side) of the hip. This causes pain in the front of the hip or in the groin area.

Greater trochanter bursitis is more common than iliopsoas bursitis.

Treatment of hip bursitis:

This can include modifying your activities, rest, taking NSAID pain killers, physical therapy, and also injecting a steroid injection mixed with a local anesthetic. One has to be careful to avoid giving the steroid too many times to relieve the pain and discomfort, as steroids can damage the muscles and tissues around the hip joint.

If the bursa remains inflamed and painful after you have tried all nonsurgical treatments, then surgical excision (removal) of the bursa can be done. This does not affect the function of the hip joint.

Bursitis Knee 1

Bursitis around the Knee

There can be more than one bursa around the knee joint which can get inflammed to cause knee bursitis. These bursae can be as follows:

  1. Pre-patellar bursitis: this is in the front of the knee cap and can present like a golf ball swelling.
  2. Infra-patellar bursitis: this can be superficial or deep to the patellar tendon, situated below the knee cap.
  3. Supra-patellar bursitis: this is a swelling above the knee cap between the quadriceps tendon and the the front of the thigh bone.
  4. Pes Anserinus Bursitis: this is the inflammation of the bursa situated on the inner side of your upper leg just below the knee.

  5. Bakers cyst: this is a popliteal cyst present as a swelling at the back of the knee joint.
  6. Iliotibial band bursitis: it is present on the outer side of the knee joint where the lateral thigh muscles are attached on to the tibial prominence called Gerdy tubercle.
Treatment of Knee bursitis:
Your treating orthopaedic surgeon will examine you and may need to order some tests to confirm the diagnosis. These tests can be ultrasound scan, MRI or even a simple x-ray.
It is important to know if the bursa is not infected or inflamed. If it is then may be treated with antibiotics and in some cases may need surgery to drain the infection. Non-infected bursa tend to respond to anti-inflammatory NSAID drugs, rest, and simple aspiration or in some cases may need injection of steroid mixed with local anaesthetic.
Surgery is needed if you have severe chronic or recurrent bursitis and don’t respond to other treatments.