New Study Shows Platelet Rich Plasma More Effective Than Cortisone for Chronic Hip Bursitis:

Hip Bursitis is a common disorder characterized by localized pain at a specific point of the hip due to inflammation of a small fluid- filled gel sac called a Bursae.  These gel sacs are frequent throughout many joints in the body such as the shoulder, knee and hip, and act as a soft cushion for a moving joint, helping to decrease friction and allow for better mobility.  In the hip joint, there are actually two bursae. The Trochanteric Bursa covers a boney point on the outside of the hip called the greater trochanter, while the Iliopsoas Bursa is located more towards the groin.  Inflammation of the Trochanteric Bursa is significantly more common, and can be caused by a myriad of different factors, from overuse, to disturbances in gait, Osteoarthritis, and even as a complication of hip surgery.

In a summary provided by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the initial treatment for hip bursitis does not involve surgery and conservative options are always the best place to start. Treatment options can be as simple as avoiding the activities that worsen your symptoms, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, or physical therapy.  In more nagging chronic or severe cases, a steroid injection can be administered into the hip bursa, which can potentially provide temporary (months) or permanent relief.  However, a recent paper from the 2014 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting has shed light on the use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) as a potentially viable and more successful treatment option.

Recent research presented by Monto and his colleagues at the AAOS 2014 annual meeting compared a PRP injection versus steroid injection for chronic severe hip bursitis.  The study examined 40 patients with chronic hip bursitis who had experienced symptoms for atleast 6 months and failed all other conservative treatment options. The patients randomly received either a 40mg injection of Methylprednisone or a single injection of autologous PRP.

The results revealed significant improvements in the pain and function scores for both study groups at 3 month follow up.  However, the PRP group illustrated sustained results, as the hip scores remained elevated at 6 and 12 months follow-up.  Where as the steroid group showed progressive declines in hip scores at 6 and 12 months post-injection.

The study suggests, as Motto wrote in the abstract,

“Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is significantly more effective and durable than cortisone injection for the treatment of severe chronic greater trochanteric bursitis refractory to traditional nonoperative management.”

Although more studies are needed to fully evaluate the efficacy of PRP therapy for chronic severe hip bursitis, the recent data suggests a promising future for PRP application in bursitis. Stay connected on Twitter and Facebook for more up to date research and great health articles to help you live an active lifestyle!

Reference: Monto RR. Paper #778. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 11-15, 2014; New Orleans

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