Treatment Orthopedics

Trochanteric Bursitis

The initial treatment of trochanteric bursitis includes rest, anti-inflammatory medications, ice and stretching.

  • Rest For a period of time, the patient avoids any activity, such as running or biking, that causes pain to the hip bursa.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications Medications such as Motrin, Aleve or ibuprofen can be very helpful in controlling the inflammation and pain associated with the bursitis.
  • Ice Ice packs can help improve the symptoms of bursitis, especially following exercise and physical therapy.
  • Stretching Many patients with trochanteric bursitis have a very tight IT band. A course of stretching the IT band usually improves the symptoms dramatically over a course of just a few weeks.

If these initial treatments do not alleviate the symptoms, there are other treatment options.

  • Cortisone injection Cortisone can be injected directly into the bursa in patients who continue to have pain despite rest, medication and stretching. The cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can make patients feel significantly better. It is usually given with lidocaine, an anesthetic, which give immediate pain relief.
  • Surgery Rarely, surgery is necessary for trochanteric bursitis that does not get better with all of the above treatments. The surgery can be done arthroscopically. The procedure is an outpatient procedure and patients can walk the following day with only mild pain.

Overall, most patients get better with rest, anti-inflammatories and a stretching program directed by a physician, athletic trainer or physical therapist. Patients can expect to see improvement in symptoms quickly, with a resolution of symptoms most often after 6 to 10 weeks. It is important to gradually resume activities so as to not develop bursitis again.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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