What is trochanteric bursitis?
A bursa is a type of musculoskeletal cushion and its primary function is to allow smooth gliding of tissues over what is often a bony prominence. In the case of the hip, the most common type of bursitis is trochanteric bursitis. Other types of bursitis include ischial bursitis which involves the bony prominence of the pelvis upon which one sits. There can also be iliopsoas bursitis which often causes a deep groin pain and is not so much secondary to a bony prominence but instead is often caused by the socket component of a total hip replacement.
What can cause it?
Trochanteric bursitis is known as an overuse syndrome and therefore can be caused by excessive use of the hip. Other causes include iliotibial band friction syndrome where the tight band of tissue over the bursa actually compresses it against the bony prominence. It can also be secondary to a previous total hip replacement. As the gluteus medius tendon inserts into the greater trochanter, a tendonitis of the insertional fibres can also mimic symptoms of trochanteric bursitis. Often the two co-exist, ie gluteus medius tendinitis/tendinopathy along with trochanteric bursitis.