Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Trochanteric Bursitis

Trochanteric Bursitis
Trochanteric Bursitis

Trochanteric Bursitis is a painful condition of a bursa on the outside of the leg near the hip.  A bursa is a fatty pad that serves as a cushion between bones, joints, tendons and ligaments.  Pain occurs when the bursa becomes irritated and inflammed.  The pain may radiate down the leg and mimic sciatica.  The initial injury may be from trauma, such as a fall on the hip, or from overuse.  There may be tenderness over the hip or thigh. The pain often occurs while getting up from a seated position, climbing stairs and when lying on the affected side.  Sleep may be disturbed.   Trochanteric bursitis often co-exists with other disorders such as arthritis of the hip, sacroiliac joint disease and pyriformis syndrome.  Trochanteric bursitis is fairly common, occurring in up to 15% of women and up to 8.5% of men.  It affects females more commonly than males and can occur at any age.  Electomyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies may distinguish trochanteric bursitis from sciatica occurring secondary to lumbar disc disease.  X-Rays and MRIs can be useful to exclude fractures and intrinsic hip disease.  Treatment begins with conservative modalities including physical therapy, heat, ice and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.  Injection of a dilute solution of a local anesthetic and a steroid into the bursa may be very helpful in cases that do not respond to conservative treatment.

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