Trochanteric Bursitis

Trochanteric Bursitis is a highly discomforting syndrome that affects many active individuals across the world. Know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and cure of this disorder.

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?

It is a condition that is characterized by a swelling of the bursa or the fluid-filled pouch located close to a joint at the lateral tip of the hip that is called the Greater Trochanter. This is the reason why Trochanteric Bursitis is often referred to as Greater Trochanteric Bursitis.

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis Symptoms

The condition leads to inflammation or irritation of the bursa, which commonly results in hip pain. The pain arises on the outer side of the thigh and hip or even in the buttock. The pain usually originates when the patient is lying on the impacted side.

The hip pain generally becomes worse during activities like getting up from a chair or walking up the stairs. Pain may also develop when finger pressure is applied on the outer side of the hip.

Trochanteric Bursitis Causes

A number of factors can work as Trochanteric Bursitis causes. These include :

Hip Injury

An injury to the hip can occur due to a fall or lying on the affected side for a prolonged duration. Hip injury is one of the most common causes of Trochanteric Bursitis.

Joint overuse

Activities like overwork or play can lead to overuse of the joint regions and lead to a trauma (injury). Activities like standing for extended duration, climbing and running up stairs can also lead to joint injuries.

Improper posture

Incorrect body posture can lead to Trochanteric Bursitis as well as Spinal problems, Lumbar Spine Arthritis and Scoliosis.

Joint Defects

Poor position of bones or joints such as arthritic joint or leg length differences can put soft tissues under stress.


Conditions like gout, thyroid disease, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis can also give rise to Bursa inflammation. Abnormal side effects from drugs can also lead to bursitis. In rare circumstances, this condition may also result from infection. Some people are also found to suffer from this disorder after hip surgery or prosthetic hip implants.

Calcium Deposits

Hip bone spurs or accumulation of calcium in the tendons that join to the Trochanter can also give rise to Bursitis.

Bursitis is also regarded to be an effect of ageing as it is commonly found in middle-aged and elderly men and women. Other than the aforementioned factors, the cause of Trochanteric Bursitis is unclear in many cases.

Trochanteric Bursitis Diagnosis

Healthcare providers begin the diagnosis of this condition by making the sufferer stand first on one leg and then on the other. This is accompanied by the observation of the effect on the hip position. Leg and hip palpitation may show the location of the ache. Range-of-motion examinations can help in identifying the source of the pain.

Diagnostic tests may involve MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Ultrasound and X-rays. These tests may reveal inflammation or ruptures. However, these imaging tests are often ineffective in showing apparent abnormalities in sufferers with documented GTPS.

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis Treatment

This condition is mainly treated with rest. Rest does not indicate immobilizing the source of pain or confinement to the bed. It simply indicates avoiding all those activities that enhance the pain.

The pain and inflammation caused by this disorder can be reduced with the help of ice and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). If the condition fails to improve despite these measures, administering steroid injection into the swollen area can act as a definitive treatment for Trochanteric Bursitis of the hip.

Trochanteric Bursitis and Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy is often used to treat this condition. The aim of physical therapy is to make the hip muscles strong and stretch the Iliotibial band so that friction reduces and there is also a relief from tension in the hip. Ultrasound examination may also be helpful in curing the condition.

Trochanteric Bursitis Surgery

If physical therapy fails to improve pain in acute cases of Trochanteric Bursitis, cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medicines may be used to provide immediate relief. The swollen bursa can also be removed through a surgical operation known as a Bursectomy. A Bursal Surgery may also be aimed at repairing muscular ruptures and removing loose material from hip suffering from arthritic degeneration.

While conducting this operation, the Gluteal tendons can be closely observed to check for any detachment and degeneration of the Gluteal tendons. If no repairing of this detachment is carried out, bursa removal alone will not make much difference in alleviating the symptoms.

Trochanteric Bursitis Exercises

Stretching exercises for Trochanteric Bursitis aim at reducing pain and improving hip motion. Some common Trochanteric Bursitis stretching exercises are

Wall Squat

Stand straight in an upright posture with the face in a direction opposite to a wall. Lay a basket ball or an exercise ball on your back and lean on the wall. Keep the body straight and gradually squat down to keep your thighs in a position taht is parallel to the floor. Hold this posture for approximately ten seconds. Slide up against the wall.

Repeat this process for 10 times or one set. It is best to perform 3 sets of this exercise every day.

Iliotibial Band Stretch

Stand at distance of one foot from the wall surface, with the affected side close to the wall. Place your palm on the wall surface and lean against it. Cross your unaffected leg over the affected one and gently lean against the wall. Repeat the process using the other side.

Leg Raise

Lie down on your unaffected side over an exercise mat. Support your head with your hand. Tighten the muscles of the upper part of the thigh of your affected side. Gently lift the leg off the floor. Raise your affected leg 8 – 10 inches off the floor while making sure that your knees are straight at the same time. Hold this posture for several seconds and repeat the workout. Perform 3 sets of this exercise with 10 repetitions in each set.

This condition remains incorrectly diagnosed for a prolonged duration, due to its symptomatic similarity with other musculoskeletal disorders. If you are suffering from persistent hip pain that is affecting your daily activities, it may be a sign of Trochanteric Bursitis. Get in touch with a professional healthcare provider immediately to recover from this condition earlier. Late diagnosis and cure can result in a late recovery and prolonged treatment period.


One Response

  1. Lisa December 3, 2011

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