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Have acute pain in leg. Thought trochanteric bursitis. Feels tender above the joint. Do I need to take x-ray?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am nearly 70 and have acute pain in one leg. It hurts only when I try to lift it, put my weight on it, or walk up hill or stairs. I do regular back exercises and the only one that hurts is putting my leg internally rotated on the bed; leaning my head on the bed is OK. I had a similar problem earlier in the year when I hadn't been doing exercises - never accurately diagnosed although I went to a physio and chiropracter. I thought it was trochanteric bursitis (by exclusion and the internet.) Totally resolved for the last six months. No back pain at all.
By the way I am a doctor, but it doesn't help much as I am a retired pathologist; my daughter is a psychiatrist and has examined my hip. It is slightly tender just above the hip joint. Passive adduction was painful. Active flexion and adduction impossibly painful. But I can walk. Do I need a hip X-ray??
Thank you for your help!

I should have said, I had a hip xray early in the year which was negative; but maybe they only xrayed one side. I'm going to check.
Posted Fri, 19 Jul 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
From the description that you have provided, the pain that you have in the hip could be due to a labral tear or bursitis. But all these soft tissue pathologies cannot be detected on an X-ray. It is best to get an MRI scan of the affected hip done for proper diagnosis. Till then avoid weight bearing on the leg.
Avoid all the painful movements and restrict the exercise till a definitive diagnosis is made.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have acute pain in leg. Thought trochanteric bursitis. Feels tender above the joint. Do I need to take x-ray? 21 minutes later
Thanks. That supports what a GP friend of my daughter said - i.e. don't have an X-ray, especially when it was OK (minor OA left >right; mine now is right-sided). I'll do what you say and hope it gets better; and will have an MRI if not.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Do share your MRI report with me.
I am available to help you if you need any more information.
Wishing you a trouble free early recovery.
Best regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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