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Can Bursitis Lead to Hip Replacement?

Can Bursitis Lead to Hip Replacement?

Hip pain is widespread in middle-aged women; it can be mild or crippling and can become worse when there is pressure on the area. One of the most frequent causes of hip pain is hip bursitis.  Bursitis is the inflammation of an element in the hip joint called bursa. Bursa is a fluid-filled sac covering the joint that reduces friction between the joint bones slide allowing them to glide smoothly keeping the wear and tear to a minimum.

However, when this area is inflamed, the affected joint feels tender and may cause considerable pain. In this case, the hip pain may become worse by walking or just about any physical activity.  Even applying pressure by lying on a bed on the affected side can cause discomfort. The pain may become worse at night when trying to sleep, especially if lying in the same position for a long time. The resulting hip pain can be quite severe in some cases, but is it necessary to undergo hip replacement surgery if you have bursitis?

Hip replacement surgery can cause bursitis in the hip, but this only happens in about 17 percent of all the cases. At the same time, surgery is one of the available options to solve hip bursitis, but it is not the first step. Bursitis can be avoided by losing weight, warming up the hip joint before putting any strain it, and strengthening the muscles in the area with a specialized workout routine. But if you already suffer from hip bursitis, there are plenty of solutions before thinking about surgery.

One of the first things your doctor will likely try is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the inflammation of the area and the associated pain. While you're under treatment, it is essential to keep moving through physical therapy to build strength in your hip and regain normal function.

Sometimes, it will be necessary to use steroid drugs or have the fluid from the bursa analyzed. Surgery only becomes an option when nothing else works. The traditional procedure to solve hip bursitis is called bursectomy.  An incision is made and the affected bursa removed. It is a simple procedure with a short recovery period.  Hip replacement surgery is not necessary unless there has been damage done to the hip bones.

If you do not want to undergo surgery, try these tips:

  • Physical therapy
  • Use an ice pack on the inflamed area
  • Get enough rest to recover properly before starting your daily routine

For more information on hip bursitis and hip replacement surgery contact Dr. Dan Albright at 919-863-6808.



  • ABOS
  • AAOS
  • NCOA
  • PractEssentials