Greater Trochanteric Bursitis

Have you ever had pain on the outside of the hip? Today’s topic is about a hip condition called Greater Trochanteric Bursitis, and it is a lot more common than you think (even if you’ve never heard of it). So, this is Matt Toone and Jordan Brady here – we are the Physical Therapists at Aspen Ridge Physical Therapy in Layton, and we see this condition and help treat patients with this pain all the time

Greater Trochanteric Bursitis … what? It’s ok, we will explain! The femur bone, which is the long leg/thigh bone, has a portion of the bone called the Greater Trochanter. It is the bony portion on the outside of the hip. And on the hip, like many other joints, we have a bursa – which essentially is a fluid filled sack that protects the tendon and helps prevent it from moving or gliding over the bone. So this condition is essentially inflammation of that bursa on the side of the hip.

Let’s talk about what causes this condition, and what signs to look for on if you have it:

What Causes Greater Trochanteric Bursitis?

  • Weak hip abductors (the muscles on the side of the hip)
  • Tight IT Band
  • Some type of trauma or ‘blow’ to the side of the hip
  • A fall on the hip
  • Repetitive overactivity of the muscles of the hip (sports, exercise, etc.)
  • Improper gait biomechanics (or walking in a way that puts strain on that tissue)
  • Other hip or leg injuries (ie: arthritis, labral tear) that cause you to walk in ways that puts strain on the bursa or IT band or hip abductor m’s.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of this Condition?

  • Pain on the outside of the hip
  • Weak hip abductor muscles
  • Pain along the lateral thigh down the IT band
  • Very tender to palpation at the lateral hip at that greater trochanter portion of the femur bone
  • Pain when lying on the painful side
  • Limping or improper gait/walking due to pain

As Physical Therapists, we are trained to do very specific evaluations to help rule in or out this condition. We can help distinguish between a labral tear vs. arthritis vs. greater trochanteric bursitis. Depending on your condition and presentation, we will create a custom plan of care specific to how you present. But the good news is – that this condition is very treatable. Most patients find that physical therapy helps them to reduce their pain and get them back to full function. We will perform soft tissue mobilization, use modalities to help reduce inflammation and pain, improve gait mechanics, and strengthen and stretch the appropriate tissues to help get you back to pain-free motion.

If you are having pain on the outside of the hip, we can help you. We have treated many other patients with this condition, and it is totally treatable. Whether you live in Layton, Syracuse, Clearfield, Clinton, Farmington, Kaysville, Roy, or anywhere in between – call us today with any questions or to set up an appointment. You can reach us at 801-773-1350.