Trochanteric bursitis is a common condition causing pain usually felt over the outer aspect of the hip, which sometimes radiates down the outer part of the thigh. It can sometimes be confused with sciatica. The pain is caused by an inflamed bursa over the outer part of the hip. Bursae are found in various areas around the body, usually over bony prominences or in sites where the tissues need to slide smoothly over each other (outer elbow, front of knee, outer hip). For one reason or another, the bursa becomes thickened and inflamed, leading to pain. It is sometimes caused by a fall but often the pain appears without any injury. Sometimes the bursitis is associated with degeneration of the muscles around the hip (gluteus medius or minimis tendonitis)
Symptoms of Trochanteric Bursitis
Pain is usually felt over the outer aspect of the hip, which sometimes radiates down the outer part of the thigh. Patients often describe pain on going up and down stairs or getting out of a chair. Many patients find it uncomfortable to lie on that hip at night.
Treatment of Trochanteric Bursitis
As always, the easiest treatments are tried first. Initially this would include rest and anti-inflammatory/painkilling tablets. Physiotherapy is often useful both to stretch the soft tissues over the hip as well as to strengthen the muscles around the hip.
Should these measures fail, an injection to the bursa or area of muscle degeneration can be considered.
As a very last resort, when all else has failed, surgery can be considered to remove the inflamed bursa and lengthen the tissues surgically, removing the pressure on the area.