Hip pain, particularly pain around the outside (or lateral) hip, is one of the most common injuries seen in runners (Taunton et al., 2002). Therefore, I am sure that there are many readers that have suffered or know someone who has suffered from “greater trochanteric bursitis.” Unfortunately, the term “trochanteric bursitis”, which indicates an inflammatory condition of the bursa of the hip, may be a misnomer given that three of the cardinal symptoms of inflammation, erythema, edema and rubor, are uncommon (Paluska, 2005). Therefore, the term Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, or GTPS for short, may better reflect this condition.
Bursae that are not infected can be treated symptomatically with rest, ice, elevation, physiotherapy , anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication. Since bursitis is caused by increased friction from the adjacent structures, a compression bandage is not suggested because compression would create more friction around the joint. Chronic bursitis can be amenable to bursectomy and aspiration.  Bursae that are infected require further investigation and antibiotic therapy. Steroid therapy may also be considered.  In cases when all conservative treatment fails, surgical therapy may be necessary. In a bursectomy the bursa is cut out either endoscopically or with open surgery. The bursa grows back in place after a couple of weeks but without any inflammatory component.
Greater trochanteric bursitis often is called the “great mimicker” because symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, including osteoarthritis or lower-back pain. Even though chronic hip tenderness can be the result of a variety of conditions, greater trochanteric bursitis is most often thought to be the result of a damaged tendon or muscle. Bursitis also is more common in women and tends to affect middle-aged or elderly people. As a hip replacement surgeon, I also see many people develop greater trochanteric bursitis caused from an underlying problem with their prosthetic hip joints.