What is Trochanteric Pain Syndrome?

Trochanteric pain syndrome refers to a number of conditions that produce pain over the greater trochanter (bony prominence on the outside of the upper thigh bone). The most common cause of trochanteric pain syndrome is bursitis (inflammation of one of the bursae, which are fluid filled sacs that act to reduce friction between bones, tendons and/or muscles surrounding certain joints) but other tissues may also be involved.

The two bursae most commonly prone to developing bursitis are the subgluteus medius and subgluteus maximus. The causes of bursitis are numerous and include any condition that causes altered hip mechanics such as low back pain, leg length deficiencies, arthritis, surgery and neurological conditions. Altered biomechanics leads to irritation of one or more of the bursae resulting in pain and inflammation (bursitis).

Trochanteric pain syndrome typically presents in people aged 40-60 as localised pain over the lateral (outer) upper thigh, and less commonly pain radiating up to the lower back and/or down to the knee, with a possible limp and a history of repetitive activity.

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