Trochanteric Bursitis (Archive)

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Trochanteric bursitis, also known as greater trochanteric bursitis (GTB) or greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS), is a prevalent condition that frequently causes lateral hip pain due to the inflammation of the hip bursa. The bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a lubricant for the nearby gluteus tendons, allowing them to glide smoothly during the physiological range of motion. The trochanteric bursa is located on the lateral aspect of the hip, lying above the hip abductor muscles and beneath the iliotibial band (ITB). Due to its superficial location and proximity to sizable tendons, the trochanteric bursa is susceptible to inflammation, often causing pain and leading to frequent consultations with orthopedic surgeons or family physicians.

Inflammation of the bursa can arise from various factors, including repetitive microtraumas such as running or exercise, tendinopathy of surrounding musculature, and gross trauma such as a fall from a height with direct compression to the bursa. In addition, inflammation can occur idiopathically without a discernible cause. The diagnostic process primarily relies on clinical assessment, which involves reviewing the patient's medical history and conducting a physical examination. However, imaging, including plain film radiographs, is essential to rule out other potential causes of hip discomfort.

Treatment modalities are nearly exclusively nonoperative and include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, stretching, and corticosteroid injections. Surgical excision of the trochanteric bursa is reserved for refractory cases that do not respond to nonoperative treatment.

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