CONDITIONS

HIP

GREATER TROCHANTER PAIN SYNDROME  - TROCHANTERIC BURSITIS

OVERVIEW

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) or trochanteric bursitis as it used to be called, is a condition in which the tendons and the small cushions between the tendons and bones (the bursae) in the hip become inflamed. GTPS is commonly caused by gluteus medius or minimus tendinopathy and the bursae in that area.

CAUSE

The name Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome is better suited than trochanteric bursitis as besides bursitis; this condition is commonly accompanied by other conditions such as tendinitis, tendinosis, tendinopathy, muscle tears, trigger points as well as pathology in the structures of the hip.

Injury to these tendons and bursae within the hip joint is caused by trauma such as falling on the hip, repetitive movements and sporting injuries, but it may also be a result of hip instability, weight-bearing on the one leg for long periods, incorrect posture, previous surgery to the hip, hip bone spurs or arthritis. 

SYMPTOMS

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS) is categorised as pain in the hip and high outer thigh. This pain may be sharp at first and then become more of a dull ache. It may also be accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Pain during weight-being activities such as when climbing stairs, running, walking or cycling
  • Episodic pain that comes and goes
  • Pain that travels down the outside of the thigh to the knee
  • Pain when sitting with the legs crossed
  • Redness or swelling of the affected hip

TREATMENT

Non-surgical treatments may involve anti-inflammatory medications along with rest, physiotherapy and exercises to strengthen the hip. In some cases, cortisone injections may be beneficial to reduce swelling and for pain management. Low energy shockwave therapy may also be successful in treating Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. In more severe cases the bursa may be surgically removed by your orthopaedic surgeon. This is usually done arthroscopically, making it minimally invasive.  

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