Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ischial Bursitis Anatomy

To better understand ischial bursitis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the hip and bony pelvis.

The ischial tuberosity is a bony prominence beneath the buttock. When you sit down, you rest on the ischial tuberosity. The ischial tuberosity is a thickened portion of the ischium, one of the three major bones that make up each half of the pelvis.

The ischial bursa is a lubricating pad that lies between the ischial tuberosity and the tendons that pass over the area. The ischial bursa prevents destruction of the tendons as they move over the ischial tuberosity.

The pelvis supports the spinal column and forms the hip joints.

The other functions of the pelvis include:

  • Production of blood cells:
    • Red blood cells (erythrocytes)
    • White blood cells (leukocytes)
    • Platelets (thrombocytes)
  • Protection of pelvic organs:
    • Bladder
    • Reproductive organs
    • Sigmoid colon and rectum
  • Muscles in the abdomen, back and thighs attach to the pelvis

Anatomy examples:
  • Bones and ligaments of the pelvis
  • Sacrum and coccyx
  • Sacroiliac joint of the pelvis
  • Major blood vessels of the pelvis:

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ischial Bursitis References
  1. Akisue T, Yamamoto T, Marui T, Hitora T, Nagira K, Mihune Y, Kurosaka M, Fujita I, Matsumoto K. Ischiogluteal bursitis: multimodality imaging findings. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2003 Jan;(406):214-7. [12579021]
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