Trochanteric bursa is a thin, protective layer of tissue found between the top of the iliotibial band (IT band) and the greater trochanter of the femur (thigh bone). Bursa exists in an effort to keep the ITB from rubbing on the femur. Bursa can become inflamed and thickened, resulting in symptoms of trochanteric bursitis.
Bursitis generally occurs as a result of overuse or trauma. Patients that participate in sports like running, wrestling and cycling are prone to bursitis due to the recurrent friction between the IT band and the trochanter.
Bursitis causes pain on the side of the hip directly over the trochanter. Patients may feel pain at the bump on the outside aspect of the hip, particularly at night. Night pain is relieved by motion, however increases with excessive exercise.
Your surgeon will perform a thorough history and physical exam, which typically includes X-rays. The outside aspect of the hip is tender to touch, but motion and strength should be preserved. If your pain is accompanied by a significant loss of strength, indicative of a gluteus medius muscle tear, your surgeon may order an MRI.
Non-operative treatment of bursitis is usually the first line of treatment. Your surgeon may recommend anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, and/or cryotherapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation. An injection may help resolve the pain.
If non-operative treatment fails to relieve the pain, your surgeon may suggest surgery. A minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery or open incision can be used to remove the inflamed and thickened bursa. Postoperative medication and physical therapy is at your surgeon’s discretion.