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Trochanteric Bursitis

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Great trochanteric pain syndrome

In this common condition, pain is felt on the side of the hip joint, over the prominent bone called the Greater Trochanter. Patients find it difficult to lie on their side. The distance that they can walk is often limited too, which can progress to just rest pain. 

So what is it?

The bursa is the fluid lined sac in between muscles and bony bulges. When the bursa gets inflamed it is called a bursitis. There are three bursae between the side of the hipbone (greater trochanter) and the muscles around the hip (gluteus medius and gluteus minimus). Sometimes it’s not just bursitis, but rather degeneration or inflammation of the tendon that is causing the pain located on the outside of your hip. This is called Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS).

What can be done about it?

The key to successful treatment is identifying the correct cause for the pain. Causes other than the above two include lower back and spinal problems and ilitiotibial band tightness or snapping.  I will organise some investigations to confirm my clinical suspicions. Treatment consists of targeted physiotherapy. Steriod injections can be used, but is not particularly long lasting unless physio is continued. More recently, PRP injections have been used in difficult cases. I have also used shockwave therapy in selected cases. Surgery is rarely required.

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