Treatment, Exercises, Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis



Cortisone Injection Treatment for Hip Bursitis

For what conditions are cortisone injections used?

Cortisone injections can be used to treat the inflammation of small areas of the body (local injections), or they can be used to treat inflammation that is widespread throughout the body (systemic injections). Examples of conditions for which local cortisone injections are used include inflammation of a bursa (bursitis of the hip, knee, elbow, or shoulder), a tendon (tendonitis), and a joint (arthritis).

Three-dimensional images illustrate where bursitis can occur on the body.

The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.Source: iStock

A woman experiences hip pain caused by bursitis.

Inflammation that results from local soft-tissue trauma or strain injury is a common cause of bursitis.Source: iStock


Hip Bursitis
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A man experiences hip pain while walking up the stairs.

Bursitis of the hip is the most common cause of hip pain.Source: iStock

A doctor examines a hip X-ray.

Occasionally, X-rays of the hip is used to rule out other conditions of the bone and joints, such as arthritis.Source: iStock


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A doctor examines a patient with hip bursitis.

Patients with hip bursitis can often benefit from weight reduction, stretching exercises, and wearing proper footwear for exercise activities.Source: BigStock

What are the treatments and home remedies for hip bursitis?

The treatment of any bursitis depends on whether or not it involves infection. Noninfectious or aseptic hip bursitis can be treated with home remedies that include ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Occasionally, it requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. This procedure involves the removal of the fluid with a needle and syringe under sterile conditions. It can be performed in the doctor’s office. Sometimes the fluid is sent to the laboratory for further analysis. Frequently, there is inadequate fluid accumulation for aspiration. Noninfectious hip bursitis can be treated with an injection of cortisone medication, often with an anesthetic, into the swollen bursa. Cortisone injection is typically rapidly effective. Recovery time is usually within days. This is sometimes performed at the same time as the aspiration procedure. Home remedies include over-the-counter medications like naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Patients with hip bursitis can often benefit from weight reduction, stretching exercises, and wearing proper footwear for exercise activities. Sometimes physical therapy programs guided by a physical therapist can be helpful. Generally, patients should avoid hills and stairs and direct pressure on the affected hip (sleep on the other side), when possible, while symptoms are present. People with hip bursitis should also avoid exercising on inclined surfaces and stairs, especially running hills, until symptoms have resolved. Other exercises to avoid until the hip inflammation has subsided include Stairmaster and similar exercises.

Infectious (septic) bursitis (rare in the hip) requires even further evaluation and treatment by a doctor. This is unusual in the hip bursa but does occur. The bursa fluid can be examined in the laboratory to identify the precise bacteria causing the infection. Septic bursitis requires antibiotic therapy, often intravenously. Repeated aspiration of the infected fluid may be required. Surgical drainage and removal of the infected bursa sac (bursectomy) may also be necessary.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/10/2021


Firestein, G., et al. Kelley and Firestein’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 10th ed. China: Elsevier, 2016.


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