Man waking up in the morning and suffer for back pain

Bursitis

Have you ever heard these old school names for a certain medical condition? Student’s Elbow. Tailor’s Bottom. Housemaid’s Knee. Probably not.

But you’ve heard of bursitis. The definition of bursitis is inflammation of the bursa. That sounds innocuous enough, but bursitis can be quite painful. Dr. Moore often treats bursitis in the hips and knees with corticosteroid injections to calm the inflammation.

What Is a Bursa?

The human body has over 140 bursae. These are small, thin, slippery sacs filled with fluid. The bursae are located near our joints. Their job is to reduce friction between our bones and the surrounding soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, even skin).

Each bursa is a sac with an outer membrane called the synovial membrane. Inside the sac is synovial fluid, which is a lubricating fluid.

Bursae are usually categorized by the tissue they are next to. If the bursa is between the skin and a bone, it’s the subcutaneous bursa. A subtendinous bursa would be found between a bone and a tendon.

Inflammation

Bursitis is inflammation of the bursae. When this happens from overuse or other causes, the bursa’s lining thickens, and more synovial fluid may be produced. Now the bursa will swell. It can become several times its normal size.

Causes of Inflammation

You can usually point to one of three causes for this inflammation: irritation, friction, or trauma to the bursa.

  • Irritation — Putting pressure on a bursa repeatedly can lead to bursitis. If you’re a desk jockey and you lean on your elbows all day at work, you can develop elbow bursitis.
  • Friction — Repetitive motions, such as bending your knee when running or walking, can lead to excess friction and this causes inflammation.
  • Trauma — With trauma, a bursa may temporarily fill with blood. This creates swelling and irritation of the synovial lining.

Symptoms

Except in cases of trauma, bursitis usually develops gradually. These are the symptoms:

  • Swelling — This happens when the inflamed bursa fills with fluid.
  • Pain — Pain occurs in the bursa and nearby soft tissues.
  • Tenderness — Pressing on the skin above the inflamed bursa is painful.
  • Stiffness — The inflammation can impact movement in a joint.
  • Skin redness and warmth — This can be a sign of bursa inflammation.

If you’re having signs of bursitis in one of your joints, Dr. Moore can help. Give us a call at Pinehurst Surgical, (910) 295-0224, to schedule an appointment.

Problems with Your Hips

Because the hips feature large bones, many people don’t think of them when it comes to orthopedics. The knees, shoulders, and even the ankles can seem more destined for overuse and damage.

Ah, but your hips will let you know when they’re not happy. At Pinehurst Surgical, Dr. Moore diagnoses the root causes of our patients’ hip pain, and he employs different options for treatment.

What makes up the hips?

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint that joins the ball of the thigh bone (femur) to the socket of your pelvis. Inside the hip joint is a cartilage lining that cushions impacts between the femur and the hip socket. But those impacts can be pretty intense in the hips, and they can be very repetitive. That’s why dancers, gymnasts, and other athletes that participate in sports with impact often have damage to their hip cartilage, not to mention strains, bursitis, and the effects of osteoarthritis.

Common hip conditions

These are some common hip problems that we treat at Pinehurst Surgical:

  • Bursitis of the hip — Bursitis is the painful swelling of the bursae, the fluid-filled sacs that cushion areas where tendons and muscles slide across bone. When a patient has hip bursitis, the bursa at the top of the femur is affected. Because it is involved in so many movements, when this bursa is inflamed it can be very painful.
  • Arthritis in the hip — Osteoarthritis in the hip is gradual loss of cartilage due to daily wear and tear. As the cartilage wears down, or tears, it leads to chronic inflammation that can make it difficult to sleep, let alone perform certain normal activities. Usually, arthritis in the hip is in the form of osteoarthritis, but it can also develop after a traumatic injury.
  • Osteoporosis in the hip — When a person develops osteoporosis, their bone density drops. This leads to the bones weakening and breaking much more easily than is normal. A precursor of osteoporosis is known as osteopenia.
  • Avascular necrosis of the hip — If you’re old enough to know about Bo Jackson (if not, watch the ESPN 30-for-30 show or check out highlights on YouTube), this is the injury that sent him into retirement. A seemingly simple tackle led to dislocation of his hip. This led to avascular necrosis, where the bone tissue begins to die because it isn’t receiving enough blood. This eventually led Mr. Jackson to full hip replacement.

Having pain in your hips? Maybe it’s time to see Dr. Moore and our team at Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Center. Give us a call at (910) 295-0224 to schedule an appointment.

Managing Hip Bursitis without Narcotics

The pain from hip bursitis can limit your mobility, reduce your ability to exercise and stay active, and impact your quality of life. In the past decade, it’s become more common for narcotics to be prescribed to alleviate the pain of hip bursitis.  You don’t need to turn to narcotics to manage your bursitis – there are several other steps you can take to keep the pain under control. Any initial treatment for hip bursitis at Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Center is nonsurgical. Certain lifestyle changes can calm the inflammation and relieve the pain.

Switch Up Your Exercise Routine

If you typically jog or play tennis or other impactive sports for exercise, consider switching to a form of exercise that isn’t so hard on the joints – just until the inflammation is under control. Since extra weight can exacerbate hip pain, continuing to exercise is important. Try swimming or cycling.

Ice and Heat Can Improve Hip Bursitis Pain

When symptoms first occur, ice can help reduce pain and swelling, and moist heat is very beneficial during a bursitis flareup. You can soak in a tub or hot tub or use a moist heat heating pad.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help improve hip bursitis. There are a number of exercises and stretches that can improve your mobility and alleviate hip pain.

Ibuprofen Can Help Reduce Inflammation

Ibuprofen is very effective for reducing inflammation. Ibuprofen is not addictive, but care must still be used when taking it. You should not drink alcohol or take more than the recommended dosage, as it can harm your liver.

Cortisone Shots

Pinehurst Surgical Orthopaedic & Joint Replacement Center can provide injections of a corticosteroid along with local anesthetic to relieve your pain. Cortisone injections can provide months of relief or even permanent relief, but this treatment can only be used on a limited basis because it can damage surrounding tissues.

If nonsurgical treatment doesn’t relieve your symptoms of hip bursitis, Dr. Moore may opt for surgery. With hip bursitis, surgery is rarely needed, but in some cases the bursa remains inflamed and painful despite physical therapy and other treatment. Surgery involves removing the bursa. This doesn’t affect the function of the hip and it doesn’t damage the hip.

Dr. Moore prefers to perform this surgery arthroscopically, if possible. He makes a small incision over the hip and a small camera, an arthroscope, is inserted. This provides guidance for miniature surgical instruments to be inserted through a second small incision to cut out the bursa.

For more information about Hip Replacement Surgery with Dr. Moore to reduce your joint pain or improve its function, call our office in Pinehurst, NC at (910) 295-0224.