Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS)

A condition causing irritation to the tissue that covers the bone at the top of the thigh. 

What is greater trochanteric pain syndrome?

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) 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.

GTPS 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
  • Poor running technique
  • Impact or pressure on the affected hip
  • Muscle weakness around the hip.

If you have greater trochanteric pain syndrome you may experience:

  • Muscle pain in your outer thigh and hip area, which 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.

Diagnostic tests for GTPS

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.

Treatment for GTPS

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. For the most severe cases, surgical repair may be necessary for a muscle tear.

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