Trochanteric bursitis is a very common problem seen in the musculoskeletal universe. Most often, I see patients say that their hip hurts and they point over the lateral part of the hip. Bursitis means that there is inflammation of the fluid filled sac, or cushion, near a joint. This can be caused by numerous factors such as a fall on the hip. It is commonly the result of overuse from activities like prolonged standing, climbing stairs, or running. A leg length discrepancy can alter one’s gait and lead to irritation of the bursa. We also see bursitis secondary to lumbar spine issues. Surgery around the hip or hip replacements can also lead to bursitis.
Symptoms typically seen with trochanteric bursitis include pain on the outside of the hip that can refer along the outer aspect of the thigh. Many patients describe pain when lying on their side or when pushing over the outer hip. Pain may also be increased by climbing stairs and getting up from a seated position.
Treatments traditionally consist of conservative measures like ice and anti-inflammatories. Steroid injections can be performed under ultrasound guidance to further reduce inflammation. However, for many patients, steroids only give a few months of relief. Super concentrated platelets (SCP) can be injected under ultrasound guidance to aid in stimulating a healing response in the area with long term relief as a result. Studies have shown longer lasting benefits from platelet injections when compared head to head with steroids.
All the treatments above work best when also combined with physical therapy. Trochanteric bursitis does not occur in a vacuum. There are other contributing factors like hip or spine pathology that contribute. As I often tell patients, it’s like driving a car that is out of alignment. If you simply put on new tires, but don’t realign, the new tires will quickly wear out as well. The platelets will help heal and repair, and therapy will work to strengthen muscular imbalances. The goal is to stop the recurrent irritation of the bursa and improve functional capabilities. We here at Regenexx Pittsburgh are dedicated to a natural and comprehensive approach to helping you heal!