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I've had recalcitrant bursitis for three years. Pain is quite bearable when I am inactive. I cannot engage in aerobic activities, though. What is the prognosis for returning to aerobic activity if I have surgery?

By Anonymous April 25, 2010 - 4:20am
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I've tried all the nonsurgical treatments repeatedly with no results.

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Hi, Anon,

Take a look at this page from orthopod.com. It is A Patient's Guide to Trochanteric Bursitis Surgery and it covers the surgeon's objectives, what happens during the procedure and what to expect from recovery:


Here's what it says about recovery and rehab:

"Rehabilitation after surgery can be a slow process. You will probably need to attend physical therapy sessions for several weeks, and you should expect full recovery to take several months. Getting the hip moving as soon as possible is important. However, this must be balanced with the need to protect the healing muscles and tissues.

"Ice and electrical stimulation treatments may be used during your first few therapy sessions to help control pain and swelling from the surgery. Your therapist may also use massage and other hands-on treatments to ease muscle spasm and pain.

"Treatments include range-of-motion exercises and gradually work into active stretching and strengthening. Active therapy starts two to three weeks after surgery. You may begin with light isometric strengthening exercises. These exercises work the muscles without straining the healing tissues.

"At about four weeks you may start doing more active strengthening. Exercises focus on improving the strength and control of the buttock and hip muscles. Your therapist will help you retrain these muscles to keep the ball of the femur moving smoothly in the socket.

"Some of the exercises you'll do are designed get your hip working in ways that are similar to your work tasks and sport activities. Your therapist will help you find ways to do your tasks that don't put too much stress on your hip. Before your therapy sessions end, your therapist will teach you a number of ways to avoid future problems."

You may also find helpful information here:


Does this information help? Is your surgeon experienced with this surgery? What prognosis did he/she give you?

April 28, 2010 - 9:13am
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for the response but I neglected (for which I apologize) to note that I suffer from trochanteric bursitis. Yes, I have had every treatment available more than once, except surgery, without success.

April 25, 2010 - 5:15pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your question. Retrocalcaneal bursitis: The most commonly inflamed bursa in the ankle is the retrocalcaneal bursa, which is anterior to the Achilles tendon and posterior to the calcaneus. Bursitis in this region is commonly caused by local trauma associated with poorly designed shoes. Patients complain of posterolateral heel pain and may have a posterior heel prominence, often called a "pump bump," as well as local swelling and tenderness over the Achilles tendon. Pain is increased by squeezing the bursa from side to side and anterior to the Achilles. A heel lift and open-back shoes help alleviate pressure.

There are many different reasons why doctor's may be reluctant to perform surgery for bursitis. If you have abnormal leg length would be one reason. As research shows, cortisone shots are many times more effective than surgery. Have you had any shots?

Since every person is different and your physician knows your condition, what has he/she explained to you about your options?

April 25, 2010 - 8:59am
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