Trochanteric Bursitis

Over the past 5+ months, I’ve had pretty bad pain in my right upper thigh only when I walked.  No idea what caused it, because clearly I do not do a lot of exercise!  The minute I stopped walking and sat down, it would be pain free and when I started to walk again, it was painful.  can barely cross my right leg and to simple walk around the grocery store pose a challenge.  I self-treated with heat, with ice, with ibuprofen to help decrease swelling.  Come on, I’m going on 39 in a few weeks, but with this walking pain, I feel like I am going on 69! So, after a trip to Sheringham Park the other day and having so much trouble just walking to the Bower from the car park.  I can barely keep up with my 3 & 5 year old so I decided enough was enough and made an appointment at the Cromer Surgery.

As my regular GP was on vacation, I was offered an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner, Maryanne.  I often don’t mind seeing a NP, as they are high-trained and quite thorough and quite frankly probably a lot nicer.  While our GP is nice enough, he’s all business, not a smile to be found anywhere.  Plus if they feel they are not sure, they often leave the office and ask the advice of a GP.  Like today -after some questions, touching around to find out where the pain is and a few twists & pulls, her gut feeling was that it was Trochanteric Bursitis, but wanted to get a second opinion, so checked with a Dr. on duty.    
After doing a lot of research, I too thought it might be Trochanteric Bursits – but the pain is only in my thigh!  I love all this Anatomy & Physiology stuff!!

A bursa (bursitis) is inflammation of a fluid-filled sac/pad that is usually is found beneath the moving tendons. Sometimes a bursa can become inflamed (swollen and irritated) because of too much friction or because of an injury to the bursa. An inflamed bursa can cause pain because movement makes the structures around the bursa rub against it.

Friction can build in the bursa during walking if the long tendon on the side of the thigh is tight. It is unclear what causes this tightening of the tendon. The gluteus maximus attaches to this long tendon. As you walk, the gluteus maximus pulls this tendon over the greater trochanter with each step. When the tendon is tight, it rubs against the bursa. The rubbing causes friction to build in the bursa, leading to irritation and inflammation. Friction can also start if the outer hip muscle (gluteus medius) is weak, if one leg is longer than the other, or if you run on banked (slanted) surfaces. 

Yep that is exactly it – but once you get reading online on sites like, you suddenly become convinced you have every major illness known to man.   So with the diagnosis done, the treatment is a cortisone injection from the Doctor on Monday at 11:20 am.  Se said do not be surprised if it is more painful for a few days, but it should do the job and will be pain free!  While I am some what used to needles – I’m thinking this long needle may make me a little queasy at first sight.

I’m glad I finally called the doctor’s office!  

UPDATE: June 3, 2013 –  Had my corisone shot in my thigh today.   While it was a bit of a long needled – nearly 4″, it was not that bad.  The only one thing is that the dcotor, didn’t swab my leg with an alcohol rub prior to giving the injection… Erin my friend had a bad case of cellulitis, the bacteria infection under the skin as a result of that error, so fingers crossed.  Thankfully I’m not in much pain now when I walk and hopefully it will be pain free soon and gone forever!!

UPDATE: June 5, 2013 – Walked to the town center today –  I do feel my leg is different – almost like I have a permanent limp, but I survived and no pain.

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