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Trochanteric Bursitis

In this condition, the bursa, a closed, fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body, becomes inflamed. There are two major bursae of the hip, both of which can be associated with stiffness and pain around the hip joint:

  • Trochanteric bursa: the bursa located on the outside of the hip and separated significantly from the actual hip joint by tissue and bone
  • Ischial bursa: the bursa located in the upper buttock area

Diagnosis and Treatment

History of the condition will include pain over the greater trochanter (the lower outside of the hip) when going from standing to lying down and from lying to standing. There will be pain on palpation of the greater trochanter. X-rays, a bone scan, or MRI may be used to rule out bony involvement. Treatment consists of ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, stretching of the illiotibial band, and possibly a steroid injection. A protective pad may be worn to prevent impacts to the area.


Prevention of any bursitis includes maintaining good flexibility and strength around joints.


Physical therapy will include ice, heat, electric stimulation, and ultrasound. Regaining flexibility in the muscle, and normal or improved strength levels, also are required for a safe return to activity.

Content on this page is for informational purposes only. If injured, please consult a physician.

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