By: Dr. Richard McClain, Allied Bone and Joint Plymouth Office
Our hips are the true “ball-in-socket” joints of our bodies, connecting our legs to our torso. Like our knees, all our weight goes through these joints as we walk and run. The socket is rimmed by a soft lip called a “labrum”, which helps to maintain a slight suction on the socket keeping the ball in place. And like other such joints, we have lubricating fluid that maintains the health of the cartilage “ball-bearings.”
Anatomy lesson aside, one common complaint I hear is hip pain lateral to the bony prominence. It’s not actually the hip “joint”, but the area where big hip tendons rub over the “hip bone”. A small lubricating “bursa” sac between the bone and the tendons protect the tendons from rubbing wear and tear. When the sacs get irritated and inflamed (“bursitis”), lateral hip pain results.
Hip bursitis can be quite painful, but is very treatable. Treatment typically begins with rest, ice, NSAIDs, and avoiding painful activities. Should pain persists after a reasonable amount of time with this treatment, cortisone injections, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery can resolve the pain. Surgery, while effective, is often the treatment of last resort.
Either way, my goal is to get your Life in Motion.