It struck Nancy Casey without warning.
“I was like ‘oh wow my back hurts on the right side’ and the next morning when I got up I could hardly move,” says Nancy Casey, hip bursitis patient.
The crippling pain was actually hip bursitis. One of the most common forms of hip pain, it flares up when the lubricating sac in your hip joint becomes inflamed.
“I’ll ask them to point to where the pain is located and the patient will point with one finger to one side of the hip and they’ll be exquisitely tender over this area,” says Dr. Christopher Dawson, physical medicine and rehabilitation physician on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
So what’s behind hip bursitis? Several things put you at risk. Including overuse, an injury, prior surgery, bone spurs, spine disease and rheumatoid arthritis. In Casey’s case, it stemmed from her legs.
“Biomechanics play a huge role in pathology in the back and in the hips and that’s why I assess gate and the foot structure as well as leg length on physical exam,” says Dr. Dawson.
Casey didn’t know it, but one leg was longer than the other. And it threw her body mechanics off. After reviewing her options, she decided to give injection therapy a shot.
“The procedure involves a patient laying on their contralateral hip. We establish a sterile field; I then anesthetize the soft tissue and advance a spinal needle under ultrasound guidance or fluoroscopic guidance, and then go ahead and either inject dye if I’m using fluoroscopy or go ahead and inject if I’m utilizing ultrasound,” says Dr. Dawson.
As quickly as it appeared, the pain was gone.
“He did the injection and in no time at all I was able to lift my leg. I could get in the car and do everything I’m doing. I mean it’s like a miracle,” says Casey.
Casey is now moving full speed ahead, making time for exercise to increase strength and flexibility in her hips.