Medical Library: Hip – Bursitis, Tendonitis of the Hip

For people with hip bursitis, each step can often be a painful one. Hip bursitis is a common problem that causes pain over the outside of the upper thigh. In the hip, a bursa rests between the bony prominence over the outside of the hip and the firm tendon that passes over this bone. When the bursa sac becomes inflamed, each time the tendon has to move over the bone, pain results. Because patients with hip bursitis move this tendon with each step, hip bursitis symptoms can be quite painful.

Hip bursitis can be associated with different types of patients:

  • Athletes – Hip bursitis is commonly seen in runners or athletes who participate in running-oriented sports such as soccer, football, basketball, etc.
  • Injuries – Hip bursitis is sometimes associated with patients who fall onto their upper thigh, causing a so-called traumatic bursitis.
  • Post-surgical – Patients who have had surgery, such as hip fracture surgery, or total hip replacement, may complain of pain over the outside of the hip. These symptoms are often due to irritation to the bursa causing hip bursitis.


  • Tenderness over the bony prominence of the upper/outer thigh
  • Swelling over the bursa