Overview

Trochanteric Bursitis occurs when one or more of the fluid-filled, cushioning sacs (bursas) over the bone on the side of your hip (femur) becomes irritated and causes pain and inflammation. It is more common in middle-aged and elderly women than it is in men and younger people.

Causes

Inflammation of the trochanteric bursa occurs when muscles or tendons rub over the bursa and cause friction between it and the thigh bone. This can be caused by repetitive trauma to the area, leading to a gradual onset or from direct trauma such as a fall, collision or other forceful impact to the hip. Some of the more common causes are:

  • Tightness in the hip muscles and weak muscles in the buttocks.
  • Abnormal walking patterns due to poor function in the feet or lower limbs.
  • Difference in leg length.
  • Lower back problems.
  • Osteoarthritis in the hips or lower back.
  • Scoliosis.
  • Lack of core strength to support the pelvis and trunk of the body.

Symptoms

Symptoms of this condition may include one or more of the following:

  • Pain, discomfort or tenderness when you press or lay on the affected area.
  • Pain in the hip that radiates through the buttock and down the outside of the thigh to the knee area.
  • Swelling and inflammation.
  • Redness or warmth from inflammation.
  • Increase of pain during and after long periods of sitting, walking, running, using stairs or other physical activity that causes repeated trauma to the area.
  • Limping or difficulty walking without pain.

Diagnosis

Dan Everson Podiatry can diagnose Trochanteric Bursitis through history taking, a physical examination of the hip and legs and a Biomechanical Assessment to study your range of movement. Other tests are not usually required but may be suggested if inflammation of the bursa is suspected. An X-ray or MRI may assist if diagnosis is not clear using other methods.

Treatment

Trochanteric Bursitis will typically resolve itself over time but it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months before you are pain free. This is normal and usually not indicative of a more serious condition or further damage to the hip joint.

Dan Everson Podiatry suggests one or more of the following treatment methods:

  • Rest and refraining from undertaking exercise and physical activities that aggravate the condition.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling.
  • Applying ice to the area after exercise or movement that causes pain.
  • Keep your weight within a healthy range for your age and demographic.
  • Using a walking stick or crutch during recovery to keep weight off the affected hip whilst you walk.
  • Kinetic Orthotics can be prescribed to correct abnormalities or imbalances in the foot and leg.

Prevention

Dan Everson Podiatry recommends the following activities to help prevent an onset or recurrence of Trochanteric Bursitis:

  • Monitor and regulate your workouts and physical activities to limit the amount of stress and trauma to the hip joint.
  • Warm up before undertaking exercise and avoid starting new exercises at full intensity until you are used to the movements.
  • Stop if you feel pain around the area.
  • Strengthen muscles in your core, hip area and buttocks to improve your balance and control during movement.
  • Keep your weight within a healthy range.
  • Kinetic Orthotics may be prescribed to help prevent an occurrence of this condition in those at risk.
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