Greater trochanteric pain syndrome

A condition causing irritation to the tissue that covers the bone at the top of the thigh. Find out more about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options available at Cromwell Hospital.

What is greater trochanteric pain syndrome?

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is a condition which causes pain in the outer thigh and hip area. The pain is due to irritation of the tissue that covers the bone at the top of the thigh. Excess strain and overloading the muscles is often the cause of the irritation.

What causes greater trochanteric pain syndrome?

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is most common in women. The condition can be the result of number factors:

  • a direct fall on the affected hip.
  • excessive activity, often from walking or running.
  • a poor running technique.
  • impact/pressure on the affected hip.
  • muscle weakness around the hip.

Signs and symptoms of greater trochanteric pain syndrome

If you have greater trochanteric pain syndrome you may experience:

  • muscle pain in your outer thigh and hip area that may be worse when you exercise.
  • a dull ache towards the knee.
  • pain when lying on your side, often resulting in trouble sleeping.
  • a limp when you walk.

How is greater trochanteric pain syndrome diagnosed?

Your orthopaedic consultant will take a detailed history and thoroughly examine the hip area. An ultrasound or MRI scan may also be required to help determine the severity of the condition.

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome treatment

The first stage of treatment is the application of ice, modifying your activity, taking anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy.

If symptoms persist, your orthopaedic consultant may recommend steroid injections, and for the most severe cases, surgical repair may be necessary for a muscle tear.

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