There are several trochanteric bursae that sit between the gluteal muscles in the buttock and the large bony prominence on the side of the hip. The most superficial of these bursa is the one more often involved in trochanteric bursitis. Trochanteric bursitis can come on after a direct blow to the side of the hip, as in falling onto a hard floor but it more commonly comes on with overuse through occupational or sporting activities. There may be posture or biomechanical problems that have caused the problem over time and it may be associated with osteoarthritis of the hip as well.
The patient will complain of tenderness at the side of the hip and an aching or burning pain down the outside of the thigh. Walking, standing for prolonged periods, crossing the legs or lying on that side may aggravate the pain. There is normally a ‘muddle’ of signs with several different movements bringing on the pain.
Physiotherapy can help by applying soft tissue massage and stretches to the area and electrotherapy can be used to reduce pain and to promote healing. Advice will be given on posture and resting from aggravating activities. An injection of anti-inflammatory steroid may be more effective if response to treatment is slow.
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