Understanding Trochanteric Bursitis

Understanding Trochanteric Bursitis ?

Understanding Trochanteric Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Trochanteric bursitis might sound like a mouthful, but for those who suffer from it, it’s a painful reality. This condition, characterized by inflammation of the bursa located near the large bony prominence of the femur (the greater trochanter), can significantly impact one’s quality of life. In this blog post, we’ll delve into what trochanteric bursitis is, what causes it, its symptoms, and how it can be effectively managed.

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?
Trochanteric bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac, located at the outer point of the hip known as the greater trochanter. The bursa acts as a cushion between the greater trochanter and the muscles and tendons that glide over it. When this bursa becomes irritated or inflamed, it can result in pain and discomfort in the hip area.

Causes of Trochanteric Bursitis:
Trochanteric bursitis can be caused by various factors, including:
1. Repetitive Stress: Activities that involve repetitive movements of the hip, such as running, walking, or climbing stairs, can irritate the bursa and lead to inflammation.
2. Trauma: Direct trauma to the hip, such as a fall or bump, can cause inflammation of the bursa.
3. Muscle Imbalances: Weakness or tightness in the muscles surrounding the hip can alter the mechanics of the joint, increasing the risk of bursitis.
4. Overuse: Overuse of the hip joint, particularly in individuals who participate in sports or activities that involve repetitive motions, can contribute to the development of trochanteric bursitis.

Symptoms of Trochanteric Bursitis:
The primary symptom of trochanteric bursitis is pain on the outside of the hip. This pain may radiate down the thigh or buttock and may worsen with activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or lying on the affected side. Other common symptoms include:
1. Tenderness over the greater trochanter.
2. Swelling or redness in the hip area.
3. Pain when getting up from a seated position or when standing after prolonged sitting.
4. Difficulty sleeping on the affected side due to pain.

Treatment Options:

1. Rest: Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms can help alleviate pain and allow the bursa to heal.

2. Ice Therapy: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

3. Physical Therapy: Specific exercises and stretches prescribed by a physical therapist can help strengthen the muscles around the hip joint, improve flexibility, and correct any imbalances.

4. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Corticosteroid injections are often administered directly into the trochanteric bursa to provide targeted relief. These injections can offer significant pain relief by reducing inflammation in the bursa. However, it’s essential to note that corticosteroid injections are not suitable for long-term use and may carry risks such as tendon weakening or tissue damage if used excessively.

5. Supportive Devices: Using assistive devices such as canes or braces can help reduce pressure on the hip joint and alleviate symptoms.

6. Lifestyle Modifications: Making changes to activities or habits that contribute to bursitis, such as adjusting running technique or using proper footwear, can help prevent recurrence.

In severe cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief, or if the condition is chronic and significantly impairs daily functioning, surgery to remove the inflamed bursa (bursectomy) may be considered as a last resort. However, this option is typically reserved for cases that do not respond to other treatments.


Trochanteric bursitis can be a painful and debilitating condition, but with the right treatment approach, relief is possible. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. If you’re experiencing hip pain or suspect you may have trochanteric bursitis, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Remember, early intervention can lead to better outcomes and faster recovery.

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