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What is Trochanteric Bursitis? 

Trochanteric bursitis, also known as greater trochanteric bursitis or hip bursitis, is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the trochanteric bursa that overlies the greater trochanter (bony prominence at the outer side of the hip). A bursa is a small sac filled with fluid that acts as a cushion and allows frictionless movement between the muscles and bone. Trochanteric bursitis results in pain on the outer portion of the hip that usually increases with prolonged walking or climbing stairs.

Trochanteric bursitis most commonly occurs from overuse and subsequent inflammation of the bursa from repetitive activities like running, climbing stairs, bicycling, or prolonged standing, It can also result from an injury or fall, or after a surgical procedure on the hip. The condition is often seen with sports such as football and soccer, or other activities that involve a lot of running. It is more common among women and middle-aged to elderly people. Bursitis is the leading cause of hip pain.

What is Trochanteric Bursectomy?

A bursectomy is the surgical removal of a bursa. An arthroscopic bursectomy is known as a trochanteric bursectomy when the greater trochanter is involved. The greater trochanter is the ridge at the top of the femur. Trochanteric bursectomy is usually performed arthroscopically as a minimally invasive procedure. An arthroscope is a small, fiber-optic instrument consisting of a lens, light source, and video camera. The camera displays images of the inside of the joint onto a monitor, allowing your surgeon to assess any damage and perform a repair.

Preparation of Trochanteric Bursectomy

Your doctor will advise you regarding any medications you need to stop taking prior to the procedure. You should tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medicines or anesthesia. Your medical history will be taken, and tests may be conducted such as X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Certain blood tests may also be ordered.  You may also be instructed to avoid smoking and alcohol for several days prior to surgery.

Trochanteric Bursectomy Surgical Procedure

The surgery is performed under general or regional anesthesia and involves the following steps:

  • Arthroscopic portals are inserted through a small incision at the joint.
  • Your surgeon performs diagnostic arthroscopy to view the inflamed bursae.
  • Special surgical instruments are inserted through another small incision.
  • Your surgeon carefully removes the inflamed bursae and any surrounding scar tissue. 
  • The incisions are closed and a bandage is applied.

Risks and Complications of Trochanteric Bursectomy

Complications are few but can include:

  • Formation of blood clots (DVT)
  • Bleeding and infection 
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
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