Elbow Issues

Trochanteric Bursitis of the Hip

Causes
Sometimes a bursa can becomeinflamed (swollen and irritated) because of too much friction or because of an injury to the bursa. An inflamed bursa can cause pain because movement makes the structures around the bursa rub against it.

Friction can build in the bursa during walking if the long tendon on the side of the thigh is tight. It is un-clear what causes this tightening of the tendon. The gluteus maximus attaches to this long tendon. As you walk, the gluteus maximus pulls this tendon over the greater trochanter with each step. When the tendon is tight, it rubs against the bursa. The rubbing causes friction to build in the bursa, leading to irritation and inflammation. Friction can also start if the outer hip muscle (gluteus medius) is weak, if one leg is longer than the other, or if you run on banked (slanted) surfaces.

Most cases of trochanteric bursitis appear gradually with no obvious underlying injury or cause. Trochant-eric bursitis can occur after artificial replacement of the hip joint or other types of hip surgery. The cause may be a combination of changes in the way the hip works, the way it is aligned, or the way scar tissue has formed from the healing incision.

Afall on the hip can cause bleeding into the bursa, forming a hematoma. The bleeding is not serious, but the bursa may react to the blood by becoming inflamed. The inflammation causes the bursa to become thickened over time. This thickening, constant irritation, and inflammation may result in the condition becoming chronic, or long lasting.

Symptoms
The first symptom of trochanteric bursitis is usually pain. The pain can be felt in the area of the hip right over the bump that forms the greater trochanter. Eventually the pain may radiate down the outside of thethigh. As the problem progresses, the symptoms produce a limp when walking and stiffness in the hip joint. Eventually, the pain will also be present at rest and may even cause a problem with sleeping.