Trochanteric Bursitis

March 21, 2019

Bursae are small, jelly-like sacs that are located throughout the body including around the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, and heel. They contain a small amount of fluid, and are positioned between bones and soft tissues, acting as cushions to help reduce friction. 

There are 2 major bursae in the hip that typically become irritated and inflamed. One bursa covers the bony point of the hip bone called the greater trochanter. When this bursa becomes irritated or inflamed it is called trochanteric bursitis. This is a common cause of hip pain.  

Another bursa, the iliopsoas bursa, is located on the inside (groin side) of the hip. When this bursa becomes inflamed, the condition is also sometimes referred to as hip bursitis, but the pain is located in the groin area. This condition is not as common as trochanteric bursitis, but is treated in a similar manner. 

Trochanteric bursitis can result from:

  1. Injury to the point of the hip.  This can include falling onto the hip, bumping the hip into an object, or lying on one side of the body for an extended period. 
  2. Play or work activities that cause overuse or injury to the joint areas. Such activities might include running up stairs, climbing, or standing for long periods of time. 
  3. Incorrect posture.  This condition can be caused by scoliosis, arthritis of the lumbar spine, and other spine problems. 
  4. Stress on the soft tissues as a result of an abnormal or poorly positioned joint or bone  (such as leg length differences or arthritis in a joint). 
  5. Other diseases or conditions.  These may include rheumatoid arthritis gout, psoriasis, thyroid disease or an unusual drug reaction.  In rare cases, bursitis can results from infection. 
  6. Previous surgery around the hip or prosthetic implants in the hip.
  7. Hip bone spurs or calcium deposits in the tendons that attach to the trochanter.

The symptoms of trochanteric bursitis include:

  1. Pain on the outside of the hip and thigh or in the buttock.
  2. Pain when lying on the affected side.
  3. Pain when you press in or on the outside of the hip.
  4. Pain that gets worse during activities such as getting up from a deep chair or getting out of a car.
  5. Pain with walking up stairs. 

Bursitis is more common in women and in middle-aged or elderly people.  Typically the pain is worse at night, when lying on the affected hip, and when getting up from a chair after sitting for a while.  It may also get worse with prolonged walking, stair climbing, or squatting. 

Treatment for trochanteric bursitis can include activity modification, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, assistive devices, physical therapy, and steroid injections.  Your provider may give you some exercises specific to help with trochanteric bursitis.  If you are experiencing this type of hip pain, call 515-955-6767 and schedule an appointment and get on the road to relief. No Referral Necessary. 

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