Read below about painful hip lump, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your painful hip lump from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Painful Hip Lump Symptoms

The health of your hips is important. Having a painful hip lump can severely impact your mobility and even be bothersome when you aren't moving at all. In order to address your painful hip lump, keep the following details in mind and perhaps take note of your hip's anatomy.

The hip is a relatively strong and stable ball-and-socket joint formed by the femur (the round end of the thigh bone) and the acetabulum (a cup-shaped socket) in the pelvis. See this image for a visual representation the hip joint and the different bones that form it. There are multiple muscles that surround and support the bones and the hip that allow for movement. These muscles include [1]:

  • Gluteal muscles: These are the muscles in the buttocks that are important for abducting the hip (moving the hip away from the body laterally).
  • Adductor muscles: These muscles are important for moving the hip towards the body.
  • Hamstrings muscles: These muscles help extend the hip.
  • Iliopsoas muscle: This muscle is important for flexing the hip.

Characteristics

Associated symptoms and characteristics of a painful hip lump may include the following:

Less-concerning characteristics

New lumps and bumps on the body are also concerning since they can be the initial sign of a cancerous process. However, there are signs and symptoms that are reassuring. Lumps in the hip are less concerning if they have the following characteristics:

More concerning characteristics

Lumps in the hip that require prompt follow-up include the following characteristics:

  • Hard
  • Rigid/stuck in place
  • Grows in size over time

Make an appointment with your physician if you experience these symptoms in order to get appropriate treatment and counseling.

Painful Hip Lump Causes

There are various specific structures within the hip region — such as muscles, nerves, and bones [4].

In addition to the bones and muscles mentioned above, the hip has specific nerves and blood supply that can become injured and manifest with pain. These include:

  • Nerves: The three major nerves and their branches in the hip and thigh — the femoral nerve, the sciatic nerve, and the obturator nerve — together provide both sensory information and innervation to the muscles of the thigh and hip [2,3].
  • Other structures: There are also varioustendons, ligaments, and arteries throughout this area. Tendons connect muscle to bone and ligaments connect bone to bone.

Conditions that affect these structures can result in hip lumps that can be grouped into the following categories:

Traumatic

Causes related to trauma to the hip that can result in a painful hip lump include the following.

  • Direct: Trauma to the hip area can range from minor events such as bumping a table to a fall to serious events such as a motor vehicle accident. Traumatic causes may also be associated with visible deformity and bleeding depending on the severity of the trauma.
  • Repetitive: The hip is a major weight-bearing joint of the body and is susceptible to injury from repetitive movements. These movements may causea comparatively small injury but result in significant pain. Mechanical or anatomical problems with the joint and how it interacts with other joints and connections of the leg and hip may result in irritation that may result in a painful lump as well.

Rheumatologic

Rheumatologic causes that can result in a painful hip lump may include the following.

  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a general term for multiple conditions that cause painful inflammation and stiffness throughout the body. Arthritis can result in thickening and swelling that can result in damage and deformity of the bones and cartilage in the form of nodules.
  • Cysts: Cysts are sacs that can be filled with fluid, air or other material that can form in any part of the body. Cysts can occur in the hip and cause pain that can lead to injury from constant inflammation. The hip is especially susceptible to the formation of cysts given that it has many bursae – small, fluid-filled sacs that help reduce friction in the joints. These bursae can become inflamed causing pain and a noticeable [5].

Inflammatory

Inflammatory causes that can result in a painful hip lump include the following.

  • Infections: Some infectious pathogens (mainly bacteria) can infect the bones of the hip resulting in a condition known as osteomyelitis. An infection of the skin can also result in a painful, pus-filled collection called an abscess.
  • Dermatologic: There are many dermatologic conditions that can result in a painful lump on the hip. For example, panniculitis is a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the fatty tissue under the skin and result in skin nodules.

Malignant

In general, any growth is the result of cells dividing and growing uncontrollably. Sometimes there is a genetic mutation in DNA or a specific protein or failure in an important checkpoint that results in this unchecked growth. These abnormal cells accumulate to form a noticeable lump. A lump (also known as a tumor) can be benign; however, if this lump grows and invades the body it is considered malignant.

6 Possible Conditions

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced painful hip lump. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

  1. 1.Skin Abscess

    A skin abscess is an infection of the deeper skin that's typically due to bacteria seen on the skin. Recently, infections are more frequently caused by Staph. Aureus (puts the "staph" in "staph infections"), which is dangerous and requires treatment.

    Good prognosis with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess:
    rash with bumps or blisters
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Pimple

    Acne, also known as pimples, occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil & dead skin cells. Acne is extremely common and ranges from mild to severe.

    The severity of the acne dictates treatment-type and duration. With proper treatment, acne should resolve in weeks to months. In some cases, acne is a long-term condition.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump
    Symptoms that always occur with pimple:
    pink or red facial bump
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Boil (Furuncle)

    Boils are infections of a hair follicle that creates a small pocket of inflammation full of pus. It's typically caused by a common bacteria called S. Aureus.

    5-10 days

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pink or red facial bump, small facial lump, painful facial bump, marble sized facial lump, constant skin changes
    Symptoms that always occur with boil (furuncle):
    pink or red facial bump
    Symptoms that never occur with boil (furuncle):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  4. 4.Iliopsoas Bursitis

    Bursae are small fluid-filled sacks located around the body in strategic locations to provide a cushion and help reduce friction. Iliopsoas bursitis, or hip bursitis, is an inflammation of the hip bursa, causing pain at the point of the hip. The pain may extend to the outside of the thigh area.

    Problem should resolve within weeks to months.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    thigh pain, groin pain, limping, snapping or clicking sensation of the hip, pain in the front of the hip
    Symptoms that never occur with iliopsoas bursitis:
    fever, back pain, butt pain from an injury, pain in both hips, unmovable hip lump, hard hip lump, back pain that shoots down the leg
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Fibrous Dysplasia of Bone

    This is a genetic condition where part of a bone develops incorrectly using the wrong type of materials (fibrous instead of bony tissue), causing a weak area of bone that is prone to fractures. This process begins before birth, and the cause of the gene mutation is not fully known.

    This is a lifelong condition, as the fibrous tissue will continue to grow in the same area.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous bone pain, groin pain, pain in one thigh, spontaneous hip pain, upper leg bump
    Symptoms that always occur with fibrous dysplasia of bone:
    spontaneous bone pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Benign Bony Growth (Osteochondroma)

    An osteochondroma is a non-cancerous growth that usually develops during childhood or adolescence. It is a benign tumor that forms on the surface of a bone near the growth plate.

    Will remain for life if not treated with surgery, but is benign and is not expected to affect life expectancy.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    lower leg bump, upper leg bump, numbness in one thigh, painful thigh lump, hip bump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Painful Hip Lump Treatments, Relief and Prevention

Since the causes of hip lumps are varied, it is important to make an appointment with your physician in order to get the proper diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the cause of your symptoms, your physician may suggest the following.

  • Surgery: Surgery is often the first-line option for removing both benign and malignant growths from the hip and other areas of the body. Surgery for malignant growths is often also treated with other chemical treatments.

  • Pain medication: Medications such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that help alleviate the pain associated with hip lumps.

  • Anti-inflammatory: Inflammatory causes of hip lumps may be treated with medications that target and decrease inflammation, including immune system suppressing drugs.

  • Cancer treatment: If your hip lump and associated symptoms are due to malignant cancer, your physician will discuss treatment options including surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

Supportive measures such as resting and leg elevation combined with icing and compression bandages may also help alleviate swelling and discomfort. If your hip lump lessens or goes away with these supportive measures, your condition is most likely not life-threatening.

FAQs About Painful Hip Lump

Here are some frequently asked questions about painful hip lump.

Will the lump in my hip go away on its own?

Depending on the cause, there is a possibility that the lump and the accompanying pain will go away on its own. If the hip lump is a cyst or caused by trauma or repetitive injury, the likelihood that it will go away on its own is high. However, if the hip lump is a benign or malignant tumor, it will not resolve on its own and will require follow-up.

Will the lump spread from one hip to the other?

If the lump is redor multiple lumps appear on one hip, this is most likely an inflammatory etiology like panniculitis. These bumps may spread and affect the other leg in the first few weeks; however, they can be easily treated and often resolve on their own. Other causes of hip lumps, on the other hand, usually do not spread from one hip to the other.

Is the lump chronic or temporary?

A hip lump may be temporary or chronic depending on the cause. A chronic hip lump is more associated with benign or malignant growths whereas temporary lumps are more associated with traumatic or inflammatory causes.

How will the lump affect my daily activities?

A hip lump can be very painful and uncomfortable but those related to trauma or repetitive activity should not affect your day-to-day in the long term. After a traumatic event, bed rest and limited activity on the affected hip will help with recovery, but after full recovery, knee or leg function should not be significantly affected. A hip lump associated with a benign or malignant growth may cause fatigue or unexplained weight loss, which may affect your energy to complete tasks. See your physician promptly if you feel like your symptoms are significantly affecting your life.

What can I do to prevent the development of hip lumps?

It is very difficult to prevent the development of hip lumps. The only situations in which the development of hip lumps may be prevented are those related to a repetitive injury. It may help to limit activities that require a lot of jumping or running and participate in cross-training activities that limit stress on the joints.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Painful Hip Lump

  • Q.What color is the bump?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Is there fluid coming out of the bump?
  • Q.Have you received an organ transplantation before?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our painful hip lump symptom checker to find out more.

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Painful Hip Lump Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced painful hip lump have also experienced:

    • 15% Hip Pain
    • 15% Lower Back Pain
    • 10% Hip Bump
  • People who have experienced painful hip lump had symptoms persist for:

    • 38% Over a Month
    • 26% Less Than a Week
    • 16% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced painful hip lump were most often matched with:

    • 66% Skin Abscess
    • 16% Pimple
    • 16% Boil (Furuncle)
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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References

  1. Anatomy of the Hip. Arthritis Foundation. Arthritis Foundation Link
  2. Birnbaum K, Prescher A, Hessler S, Heller KD. The sensory innervation of the hip joint--an anatomical study. Surg Radiol Anat. 1997;19(6):371-5. PubMed Link
  3. Martin R, Martin HD, Kivlan BR. NERVE ENTRAPMENT IN THE HIP REGION: CURRENT CONCEPTS REVIEW. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017;12(7):1163-1173. NCBI Link
  4. Glenesk NL, Lopez PP. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Thigh Nerves. [Updated 2018 Sep 13]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2018 Jan. NCBI Link
  5. The management of greater trochanteric pain syndrome: A systematic literature review. J Orthop. 2016;13(1):15-28. Published 2016 Jan 22. doi:10.1016/j.jor.2015.12.006. NCBI Link