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Knee & Hip Problems Message Board


Knee & Hip Problems Board Index


Hi everyone :)

I'll jump right into my story. -- I first noticed the pain in my left hip around mid October of 2008. I was working at the time, and my job required me to be on my feet most of the day. I usually ride my bicycle to work and back, but one day the pain was so bad that I had to take the bus. I had recently been in the grocery store and I turned to look at something when there was a terrible pain from my hip all the way down to the knee. I limped all the way home. At work the next day I was basically useless because I had to sit down all the time. That day was my last day at work. After being off work for around 3 weeks I had to tell my employer that I would not be returning. I had no idea it would have lasted 3 weeks! Little did I know I'd still have it NOW. Ugh. :dizzy:

So I got in to see a physiotherapist. That seemed to only make matters worse. If I could barely walk, it seemed like stretching and exercising the joint could only make it worse, and it did. After about 7 visits I had to quit. I was in so much pain, and I had started walking with a cane to try to lessen the pain. I also had no medical benefits, so I could not afford $65 a visit - especially when I could not work.

I went to see my doctor about 2 weeks after my last day of work. I was nearly bed ridden. I could not sleep on my left side, as the pain was excruciating. I only got up if I REALLY had to. So at my first visit to the doctor he prescribed Ketorlac, which is an anti-inflammatory. It helped a tiny bit, but before my next appointment with him it got worse so I had to go to the walk in clinic where I was prescribed Tylenol 3's. These barely worked at all either. So I finally got to my doctor again and he prescribed Oxycocet (also known as Percocet). It made me so nauseous and dizzy that I had something else to focus on, but all in all it didn't do much for the pain. It was then that Doc said I might have a tolerance to pain killers lol No kidding! :rolleyes:

I was so mad. I had just started Hap Ki Do, (a Korean martial art) and I was having SO much fun! Now I could hardly get up to go to the bathroom! I've been for x-rays - nothing showed up on the x-ray. Finally my doctor sent me to get a corticosteroid shot in my hip. HOLY crap did that hurt. If you can believe it, I was even MORE sore for about 3 days afterwards. I was on my back with a pillow under my left knee, and that was most comfortable. I dreaded even shifting positions.

About 2 weeks after the corticosteroid injection I FINALLY found relief. I could actually go out of the house without being in such horrible pain! So I tested myself. I would go to the mall and see how long I could walk without it hurting so much. I lasted about half an hour before the pain got bad enough that I had to go home. Every few days, after staying at home and resting, I would go back out and test myself to see if I could walk more. No such luck. I could at least leave the house, and the pain was tolerable. - That's the best I ever got though.

Now, February 2009, almost 4 months after that day at work where the pain was most prominent for the first time, it's gotten worse again. I made the mistake of going to visit family in a nearby city. Of course, all we did was go out and do things. Now my hip is killing me again!! Arg! So much for trying to force it away! lol

My doctor has finally referred me to a Rheumatologist - but there's something around a 2 month waiting list. Great! I should get in right around the time I have my lower jaw surgery... but I guess that's another story.

*****My question is - Does anyone know why this would be lasting SO long? I love work, I love life, and I hate not being able to live it! Has anyone else here had bursitis? Does it go away? (Please say yes!) If you have had it, what's your story? Did anything help? What helped more? Less?

I was on the bus the other day when I sat beside an elderly man. I had my cane, he had his, and another lady had hers. He commented that there were a lot of people with canes out today. He said he strained his knee a week or so back, but that he didn't usually use a cane - then he asked me why I had one. I told him it was bursitis, and that the bursa in my hip was inflamed. He told me that I was way too young for that, and I heartily agreed with him. lol :dizzy: I only just turned 23. What gives? :confused:

Flourish~
This is a reply to plreynolds who contacted me about more info on chronic hip bursitis and what to do when it won't go away. Rather than email him directly, I figured it would be more of a help to post it here for anyone suffering with this pain.

When trochanteric(hip) bursitis hits, it's usually because of overuse of the leg. There are tons of muscles and the "iliotibial band" that runs down the outside of the thigh from above the hip joint to the tibia. That band of tissue is like a giant tendon made up of fascia. The bursa's job is to lubricate all of this. So overuse is the most common problem. Rest, and for a considerable amount of time is one way to treat it.

But underlying problems can also cause this problem. Bursitis usually follows tendinitis, meaning that the tendon gets inflamed first, swells and puts pressure on the bursa and then the bursa swells along with it. Chronic hip bursitis can be from overuse or from an inflammatory process such as Raactive Arthritis(formerly known as Reiter's Disease) which causes tendinitis all over the body and can affect both ends of the tendons. The tendinitis then causes the chronic bursitis. Even plain old osteoarthritis of the hip can trigger an overlying tendinitis and bursitis(my problem). That's why it won't go away with me. And for those wondering, replacing an arthritic hip won't stop the bursitis...didn't in my knees. If anything it made it worse. Now I overuse my knees(since they don't hurt anymore).

So those are some of the possible causes...now to treatment. Plreynolds asked about home remedies as he has no insurance and that what lots of people are facing(or huge deductibles). If we assume that overuse is not a factor then we have to look for the underlying problem and for this post, I'll assume it's some early arthritis of some kind that is aggravating the entire joint capsule and the tendons and bursas around the joint(yes, there are other bursas around the hip).

The standard treatment for OA(osteoarthritis) is NSAIDs(non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The trick with these is not to take them just for the pain but to take a lower dose consistently to knock down the inflammation. So if you use ibuprofen, try taking up to 800mgs(4 of the OTC pills) 3-4 times a day for the first couple of weeks then reduce it to 600mgs 3-4 times a day. If you can reduce it even further until the pain returns then up it slightly to keep the pain and inflammation at bay. You can get these higher dose pills cheaply from a variety of places that offer $4 for a month's supply with a doc's script. But I just buy the biggest bottle of ibuprofen I can get so I can take what I need, be it 2, 3 or 4 pills.

You can do the same with Aleve and other OTC's. Aleve is naproxen and you can take a theraputic dose of 2, 3 times a day and slowly reduce as your pain resolves. Orudis is ketoprofen and it comes in regular and time released forms so if you want the max. dos on that I can give it to you for either form. I've been on all of them and still use ibuprofen regularly.

When the pain first starts, use ice to reduce swelling. But no more than 20 minutes per hour and never directly on the skin...frostbite! Try going to heat after a few days to increase blood flow to the tendon and bursa to help them heal. If this doesn't help of makes it worse, go back to ice. You're still swollen.

Learn to stretch your hip muscles. There are a ton of exercises and if you do a search, you'll find sites that offer the exercises endorsed by physical therapists, including pictures of how to stretch the muscles.

If you find yourself in pain so bad that you limp, consider using a cane(tough for young folks but it does help). You use it in the opposite hand as the bad leg. Or, if you don't want to look like an old lady, get a pair of crutches at your local drug store and use them for the first couple of weeks while on the max. dose of meds. Keep the hip as straight as possible. If you sit at work and it hurts, take a cooler to work with ice packs in it and use them(or hopefully you'll have a fridge w/ freezer at work you can keep them in).

If the pain gets really bad you can take a combination of ibuprofen at 800mgs along with acetaminophen 1000mgs. They enhance each other and I have found them to be as good as low dose morphine. But avoid OTC drugs that combine acetaminophen with aspirin...that's asking for an ulcer. For you Canadians out there, you can add the ones with codeine. But that only treats the pain, not the underlying inflammation. So only use the combination meds for pain. It's the daily doses for the inflammation that will cure it. Generally, the maximum prescribed dose for OTC(over the counter) anti-inflammatories is 4 times what is on the bottle but you should check this first(ask here if necessary).

The key to battling bursitis is not to treat the pain but the underlying problem. So learn to stretch and when the pain is gone, strengthen the hip muscles so they will do the work instead of your tendons taking the brunt of the work. Weak muscles lead to over worked tendons and tendinitis and bursitis. Strong muscles not only prevents them but helps to take the pressure off joints and helps arthritis pain.

And please, if you do any of this, watch your general health. NSAID's can raise your blood pressure and hurt your liver. So can acetaminophen. That's why I recommend reducing the doses every 2 weeks if possible. If you find you are staying on these drugs for longer periods of time, see your doc and have you liver function tested. Stay away from alcohol too while on these drugs. No need to push your liver that hard! And if this doesn't work, see a doc for a cortisone shot. A GP or Primary can do it...no need to see an orthopedist.

I've battled chronic bursitis all over my body from an unknown cause for over 30 years(started after an infection). I've found that the best treatment is immediate aggressive treatment...don't wait to see if it will go away. I have all sorts of splints to use and the faster I splint, the faster it goes away. But there aren't any splints for hips. YOU have to "splint" it in your mind by not moving it if possible(or as little as possible). I have actually become allergic to cortisone due to all the shots I've had so I now have to rely on this type of treatment and I do exactly what I have described above. I hope it works for others.

gentle hugs to all..............Jenny
[QUOTE=Flourish;3870031]Hi everyone :)

I'll jump right into my story. -- I first noticed the pain in my left hip around mid October of 2008. I was working at the time, and my job required me to be on my feet most of the day. I usually ride my bicycle to work and back, but one day the pain was so bad that I had to take the bus. I had recently been in the grocery store and I turned to look at something when there was a terrible pain from my hip all the way down to the knee. I limped all the way home. At work the next day I was basically useless because I had to sit down all the time. That day was my last day at work. After being off work for around 3 weeks I had to tell my employer that I would not be returning. I had no idea it would have lasted 3 weeks! Little did I know I'd still have it NOW. Ugh. :dizzy:

So I got in to see a physiotherapist. That seemed to only make matters worse. If I could barely walk, it seemed like stretching and exercising the joint could only make it worse, and it did. After about 7 visits I had to quit. I was in so much pain, and I had started walking with a cane to try to lessen the pain. I also had no medical benefits, so I could not afford $65 a visit - especially when I could not work.

I went to see my doctor about 2 weeks after my last day of work. I was nearly bed ridden. I could not sleep on my left side, as the pain was excruciating. I only got up if I REALLY had to. So at my first visit to the doctor he prescribed Ketorlac, which is an anti-inflammatory. It helped a tiny bit, but before my next appointment with him it got worse so I had to go to the walk in clinic where I was prescribed Tylenol 3's. These barely worked at all either. So I finally got to my doctor again and he prescribed Oxycocet (also known as Percocet). It made me so nauseous and dizzy that I had something else to focus on, but all in all it didn't do much for the pain. It was then that Doc said I might have a tolerance to pain killers lol No kidding! :rolleyes:

I was so mad. I had just started Hap Ki Do, (a Korean martial art) and I was having SO much fun! Now I could hardly get up to go to the bathroom! I've been for x-rays - nothing showed up on the x-ray. Finally my doctor sent me to get a corticosteroid shot in my hip. HOLY crap did that hurt. If you can believe it, I was even MORE sore for about 3 days afterwards. I was on my back with a pillow under my left knee, and that was most comfortable. I dreaded even shifting positions.

About 2 weeks after the corticosteroid injection I FINALLY found relief. I could actually go out of the house without being in such horrible pain! So I tested myself. I would go to the mall and see how long I could walk without it hurting so much. I lasted about half an hour before the pain got bad enough that I had to go home. Every few days, after staying at home and resting, I would go back out and test myself to see if I could walk more. No such luck. I could at least leave the house, and the pain was tolerable. - That's the best I ever got though.

Now, February 2009, almost 4 months after that day at work where the pain was most prominent for the first time, it's gotten worse again. I made the mistake of going to visit family in a nearby city. Of course, all we did was go out and do things. Now my hip is killing me again!! Arg! So much for trying to force it away! lol

My doctor has finally referred me to a Rheumatologist - but there's something around a 2 month waiting list. Great! I should get in right around the time I have my lower jaw surgery... but I guess that's another story.

*****My question is - Does anyone know why this would be lasting SO long? I love work, I love life, and I hate not being able to live it! Has anyone else here had bursitis? Does it go away? (Please say yes!) If you have had it, what's your story? Did anything help? What helped more? Less?

I was on the bus the other day when I sat beside an elderly man. I had my cane, he had his, and another lady had hers. He commented that there were a lot of people with canes out today. He said he strained his knee a week or so back, but that he didn't usually use a cane - then he asked me why I had one. I told him it was bursitis, and that the bursa in my hip was inflamed. He told me that I was way too young for that, and I heartily agreed with him. lol :dizzy: I only just turned 23. What gives? :confused:

Flourish~[/QUOTE]

i too kinda started out like that and after many injection and then a bursa removal of my left hip which was the BIGGEST mistake of my whole life!! this surgery is not one that is done often because that fluid filled sack protect things from rubbing together. i say NEVER do it!! one year laster it was woese than ever!! i had a left full hip replacement 4 weeks ago. right now i am having lots of pain, nerve issues. feels like a match is being lit where i had surgery. i hurt all the way to my foot. i am only 44. my bursa was inflammed and would not go down BUT i think there should have been other options other than a bursectomy. my thoughts...everyone is different but my life has changed for the worse.





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