Trochanteric Bursitis

What is Trochanteric Bursitis?


Trochanteric bursitis is described as lateral hip pain over the greater trochanter which is aggravated by direct pressure. It is painful inflammation of the bursa located just superficial to the greater trochanter of the femur.

Greater trochanteric bursitis typically is an overuse condition often seen in individuals who participate in sports such as running and bicycling. It is usually associated with repetitive hip and knee flexion (bending) and extension (straightening). Pain and inflammation associated with trochanteric bursitis is located on the outside of the hip.


Symptoms associated with trochanteric bursitis are pain on the outside of the hip and thigh or in the buttock, pain when pressing on the outside of the hip and pain with walking or climbing upstairs.

What causes trochanteric bursitis?

Causes of trochanteric bursitis include a direct injury to the hip, overuse (running, bicycling, standing and increased activity level), and medical conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc.).

Differential Diagnosis of Trochanteric Bursitis:

Piriformis syndrome (pain posterior) is a condition that can be mistaken for trochanteric bursitis. The condition is caused by repetitive motion leading to pain in the buttocks, often causing tingling and numbness that runs down the leg. The sciatic nerve is pinched by the piriformis muscle, producing the sensations of pain, tingling and numbness.

A second differential diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis is a gluteus medius tear. This involves a partial tear of the gluteus medius tendon at its insertion into the greater trochanter, which can mimic the pain of greater trochanteric bursitis.

Another differential diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis is stress fractures. Stress fractures of the hip and femoral neck are common injuries in athletes, especially runners or in patients with osteoporosis.


Treatment for trochanteric bursitis will include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy and injections. Surgery will be considered when conservative treatments fail (bursectomy).


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