Bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa, or fluid-filled space surrounding a bony prominence. After years of stressing the areas around your joints, these sacs or bursae may become inflamed. This inflammation can cause pain. Greater trochanteric bursitis is the inflammation of the sac that lies over the outside part of your thigh bone (femur), where it joins the hip. You may notice a dull ache or stiffness in the area of your hip, pain with movement, or pressure over that area.
In many cases, treatment is simple and includes resting and immobilizing the affected area, applying ice to reduce swelling, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. With this self-care treatment, the bursitis usually disappears within a week or two. If there is no relief using this conservative treatment, your interventional pain doctor may inject a corticosteroid drug into the bursa to help relieve inflammation, after which relief is generally obtained within one to two weeks. Please note: This procedure cannot be performed if you have an active infection, flu, fever, extremely high blood pressure, or if you are on blood thinners. For your safety, please inform us if any of these conditions exists.
As with most procedures, there is a remote risk of bleeding, infection, nerve injury or allergic reaction to the medications used. Some short-term side effects may occur, as well. You may have increased pain for a few days after the injection, including localized pain at the injection site. Diabetics may have a short-term elevation of blood sugars. People prone to fluid retention may have increased fluid retention for one to two weeks.
After you check in and sign a consent form, your vital signs will be taken. Then you will be taken to the procedure room. Please wear loose-fitting clothing. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown. Our nursing staff will position you on your side on a narrow table. The affected area will be cleaned with iodine and sterilely draped. Then, the doctor will numb your skin using a small needle, which will sting a bit. It is very important to hold still and let us know if we are causing you discomfort. Next, the doctor will use an X-ray machine (fluoroscope) to guide the needle into the correct spot. Local anesthetic and steroid are then injected through the needle, and the needle is removed. Your skin will be cleaned and a Band-Aid applied. The Band-Aid may be removed the next morning. The procedure will last approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Your pain may improve immediately after the injection, due to the local anesthetic. The steroid usually takes two or three days to have an effect and peaks in about two weeks.
You will be taken back to the area from which you started, and you will remain there for approximately five minutes. If you experience local tenderness from the needles, ice may help relieve the discomfort. You can also resume taking your normal pain medications.
Following your procedure, you are not allowed to drive for the remainder of the day. An adult must be present to drive you home or to escort you on another form of transportation. This is for your own safety. Otherwise, you may do whatever you feel up to doing.
Please call us immediately at 781-744-5090 if you experience severe pain or have signs of infection in the area of the injection.