Patient Information

Trochanteric bursitis and gluteal tendinopathy are a very common cause of pain over the side of the hip. Their symptoms are very similar and they often co-exist.

Mr Craik provides private hip consultations at Ashtead Hospital in Surrey where he will expedite you diagnosis and discuss with you the range of treatment options available. 



In areas of our body where there are bony prominences such as around the tip of the elbow, side of the hip and front of the knee, there are structures call bursa that are positioned over the bone. These bursa are fluid filled sacs that allow the soft tissues and skin to glide smoothly over the bony prominence when we move. The bursa on the side of the hip is called the trochanteric bursa.


Trochanteric bursitis describes a condition whereby this bursa becomes inflamed and this is a very common cause of pain over the side of the hip. It can occur after trauma or repetitive activities such as running. Patients will often experience focal tenderness over the bony prominence of the hip and have difficulty lying on that side at night.




The tendons on the side of your hip are known as the gluteal tendons. These tendons connect strong muscles on the side of your pelvis to the upper end of the thigh bone. They are important in keeping your pelvis level when walking. 


The health of the gluteal tendons depends on regular activity. After falls, strenuous activity, weight gain or returning to activity after a prolonged period of rest, these tendons can become inflamed causing pain. This pain is felt over the side of the hip and thigh and is worse when getting going after periods of rest or when attempting to stand on the affected leg. There may also be pain when lying on your side.



The diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis and gluteal tendinopathy is often made from the patients description of their symptoms and their clinical examination. Xrays are often normal because the bones and joints are unaffected and the bursa and tendons cannot be seen with xray imaging. An MRI scan however can demonstrate the bursa and tendons and may be helpful in diagnosing these conditions.


The treatment of trochanteric bursitis and gluteal tendinopathy is predominantly non-operative. Symptoms often improve with anti-inflammatory pain killers combined with physiotherapy stretches and exercises. Loosing weight and modifying your activities, such as avoiding sitting with your legs crossed or sitting in low chairs, can help. Sleeping with a pillow between you legs can also be beneficial. Sometimes localised injections to the trochanteric bursa and region of the gluteal tendons can help to alleviate pain.