Trochanteric Bursitis

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Trochanteric bursitis, commonly referred to as hip bursitis, is a painful condition caused by inflammation of a bursa in the hip. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs present in joints between bone and soft tissue to reduce friction and provide cushioning during movement. Sports, repetitive motion and aging are the most common causes of hip bursitis.

At OrthoAspen, we know how much our patients value their motion health and active lifestyle. Our full-service orthopedic practice is equipped to handle emergency care, specialty orthopedics and physical therapy. It is our commitment to return you to the activities you enjoy.

Causes & Symptoms

Although hip bursitis can happen to anyone, it’s more common in athletes and women over the age of 30.

The bony prominence of the hip is called the greater trochanter. This protrusion runs along the outer side of the upper thigh bone (femur). The bursa overlying the greater trochanter is referred to as the trochanteric bursa. Another bursa is located towards the groin region and is called iliopsoas bursa. Bursitis of the trochanteric bursa is more common than bursitis of the iliopsoas bursa.

When the bursa regions of the hip become inflamed, it’s typically a result of:

  • Sports-related activity, such as football and soccer
  • Injury or fall to the hip or after a surgical hip procedure
  • Spine disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Leg length that is disproportionate

Symptoms of hip bursitis include:

  • Pain in the lower portion of the hip (sharp or achy)
  • Pain in the groin area (usually more symptomatic of iliopsoas bursitis)
  • Pain that worsens with periods of prolonged activity and/or rest
  • Hip tenderness (especially when pressure is applied, ex: lying on your side)

To properly evaluate bursitis of the hip, your OrthoAspen physician will look for tenderness and swelling in the area of the hip bursa during the physical examination. To check for any bone spurs that could be causing irritation of the bursa, your doctor may order an X-ray. If the reason for the pain is not clear, an MRI may be ordered to view the soft tissues and structures not visible on an X-ray.


Treatment goals for bursitis are focused on resolving inflammation and pain. Whenever possible, our OrthoAspen hip specialists will apply conservative methods of treating hip bursitis, which include:

  • Rest and restriction from activities that trigger bursitis pain
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Treatments with heat, ice and ultrasound
  • Injections of corticosteroid medicine to reduce the inflammation

Surgical removal of the bursa may be recommended by your OrthoAspen doctor if conservative treatment measures are not effective in relieving symptoms.

No matter what treatment option your OrthoAspen physician suggests, rest assured that you will be treated with the highest level of care and comfort.

Click here to schedule a consultation, or call us at 970-544-1289.


Visit OrthoAspen in two convenient locations
Aspen Clinic
Aspen Valley Hospital
0401 Castle Creek Rd., Suite 2100,

Aspen, CO 81611
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400
Basalt Clinic
Midvalley Medical Center
1450 E. Valley Rd., Suite 201,

Basalt, CO 81621
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400