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Greater Trochanteric Bursitis

Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Florida

Greater trochanteric bursitis is inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac near a joint) at the outside (lateral) point of the hip known as the greater trochanteric. When this bursa becomes irritated or inflamed, it causes pain in the hip and is a common cause of hip pain. Greater trochanteric bursitis is more common in women and in middle-aged or elderly people.

Symptoms of Greater Trochanteric Bursitis:

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

Causes of Greater Trochanteric Bursitis:

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

Beyond the situations mentioned above, in many cases, the cause of trochanteric bursitis is unknown.

Treatment for Greater Trochanteric Bursitis:

Treatment goals for greater trochanteric bursitis include reducing pain and inflammation, preserving mobility, and preventing disability and recurrence. Treatment recommendations may include a combination of rest, splints, heat, and cold application. More advanced treatment options include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Corticosteroid injections given by your health care provider. Injections work quickly to decrease the inflammation and pain.
  • Physical therapy that includes range of motion exercises and splinting. This can be very beneficial.
  • Surgery, when other treatments are not effective.

Most cases of bursitis improve without any treatment over a few weeks. See your health care provider if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • You experience pain that interferes with your normal day-to-day activities or have soreness that doesn’t improve despite self-care measures.
  • You have recurrence of bursitis.
  • You have a fever or the area affected appears red, swollen or warm.

In addition, see your doctor if you have other medical conditions that may increase your risk of an infection, or if you take medications that increase your risk of infection, such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants.

Preventing trochanteric bursitis?

Because most cases of bursitis are caused by overuse, the best treatment is prevention. It is important to avoid or modify the activities that cause the problem. Underlying conditions such as leg length differences, improper posture, or poor technique in sports or work must be corrected.

Apply these basic rules when performing activities:

  • Take it slow at first and gradually build up your activity level.
  • Use limited force and limited repetitions.
  • Stop if unusual pain occurs.

Some tips:

  • Avoid repetitive activities that put stress on the hips.
  • Lose weight if you need to.
  • Get a properly fitting shoe insert for leg length differences.
  • Maintain strength and flexibility of the hip muscles.

If you suffer with greater trochanteric bursitis pain and your current treatment plan leaves you feeling frustrated, perhaps a fresh set of experienced eyes can change your outlook. Since 1990, Dennis M. Lox, M.D has applied his personal interests in sports medicine, cutting-edge regenerative medicine and chronic pain management to helping patients increase their quality of life. Contact us for an appointment at 727-462-5582.

Dennis M. Lox, MD, and the Florida Spine Center serve patients within the greater Tampa Bay area, including Clearwater, Tampa and St. Petersburg, as well as all of Florida and the US.

All statements, information or opinions provided on this website are provided for educational purposes only. We do not diagnose nor treat through this website nor by telephone. As you consider any treatment, discuss them with your physician.

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Clearwater, Florida Office

2030 Drew St.
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 462-5582

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450 N Roxbury Dr. #602
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 975-7033

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