Bursitis trochanterica (bursitis of the hip)

What is it?

Bursitis trochanterica, also known as bursitis of the hip, is inflammation of the bursa that lies between a broad tendon above the thighbone (trochanter major) that holds the major thigh muscles together (tractus iliotibialis).


A A bursitis trochanterica can have several causes but is often a result of repetitive strain, such as playing two or three sets of extra tennis, spinning, running with the wrong (running) shoes or a fall on the affected side. We then refer to this as traumatic bursitis.

At Orthomedix we assess the full kinetic chain, including all the joints and functions in order to filter out the primary cause of your complaints.

What happens exactly?

When the bursa becomes irritated, extra synovial fluid is produced, resulting in swelling and nerve pain. As the bursa fills with fluid, the pain gets progressively worse over a period of 4-5 days. Once the inflammatory process has started, the likelihood of chronic inflammation is high. Therefore, trochanteric bursitis rarely heals without medical treatment.


  • Pain with the diameter of a fist on the lateral side of the hip
  • Radiating pain to the outside of the leg up to the knee, sometimes even further
  • Unsteady walking
  • Everyday movements (climbing stairs or crossing the legs) can be painful.


The (orthopaedic) manual therapist or physiotherapist will need to do a comprehensive orthopaedic and neurological examination for the correct diagnosis (dd.). On local palpation, the trochanteric bursitis will be painful. Next, the orthopaedic manual therapist/physiotherapist will move the hip in all directions to ensure that the hip joint moves normally (e.g. is there a capsular pattern?). Bursitis is often confused with back pain (LWK). There may also be other causes such as sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction, facet joint dysfunctions in the back etc.


The orthopaedic manual therapist/physiotherapist will treat all the above dysfunctions and advise. The chance of recovery is high. However, with residual symptoms, the patient will be referred to a specialised doctor, usually an orthopaedic surgeon for an infiltration (puncture) under ultrasound guidance.

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