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Hip Tendinitis (Trochanteric Bursitis)

The hip specialists of Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Eugene, Oregon, are leaders in hip care. One such hip condition they often treat is hip tendinitis. We have been treating hip diseases for more than four decades. That means your care will be provided by a team whose experience is virtually unmatched in Eugene, the surrounding areas of Oregon, and throughout the Northwest.

Trochanteric bursitis, a form of tendinitis that commonly occurs in the hip, is probably the most common hip problem encountered in orthopedic practice. A “bursa” is a pad that contains fluid and allows tendons to glide more easily over bony prominences. For some reason, the hip bursa can become inflamed either through a fall with direct trauma or from some other cause. The pain is located over the “point” or the lateral side of the hip directly over the bone, called the greater trochanteric. Inflammation of this bursa causes pain, which sometimes goes down to the knee. Although annoying and painful, it does not cause abnormalities or damage to the bone or joint.


As noted above, trochanteric bursitis is frequently caused by a fall directly onto the hip. It also can be caused from overuse injuries such as during eccentric contraction of the hip muscles or rapid flexion against resistance, such as when running. Sometimes, however, patients have no history of injury or overuse and develop hip pain spontaneously from bursitis.


In overuse injuries, avoidance of activities causing hip pain can help give the hip bursa time to heal. Stretching is very important when returning to activities with most injuries and hip bursitis is no exception. Specific stretching exercises are taught by physical therapists and can successfully prevent further episodes of bursitis.


The primary treatment is to alleviate pain. A combination of anti-inflammatory medications, ice, and rest frequently result in complete improvement of symptoms. A pack of ice and damp cloth-covered bag applied every one to two hours is a simple measure than can provide excellent relief of pain. Physical therapy in the form of stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as ultrasound, can be very beneficial in patients with bursitis. Also, sometimes an injection of cortisone into the bursa itself can provide long-lasting relief and sometimes eliminates the problem. However, the injection must be coupled with strengthening exercises to give the best possible chance of success. Surgical treatment is not indicated in patients with trochanteric bursitis.

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