Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS), is inflammation of the trochanteric bursa, a part of the hip.
This bursa is at the top, outer side of the femur, between the insertion of the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles into the greater trochanter of the femur and the femoral shaft. It has the function, in common with other bursae, of working as a shock absorber and as a lubricant for the movement of the muscles adjacent to it.
Occasionally, this bursa can become inflamed and clinically painful and tender. This condition can be a manifestation of an injury (often resulting from a twisting motion or from overuse), but sometimes arises for no obviously definable cause. The symptoms are pain in the hip region on walking, and tenderness over the upper part of the femur, which may result in the inability to lie in comfort on the affected side.
More often the lateral hip pain is caused by disease of the gluteal tendons that secondarily inflames the bursa. This is most common in middle-aged women and is associated with a chronic and debilitating pain which does not respond to conservative treatment. Other causes of trochanteric bursitis include uneven leg length, iliotibial band syndrome, and weakness of the hip abductor muscles.
Greater trochanteric pain syndrome can remain incorrectly diagnosed for years, because it shares the same pattern of pain with many other musculoskeletal conditions. Thus people with this condition may be labeled malingerers, or may undergo many ineffective treatments due to misdiagnosis. It may also coexist with low back pain, arthritis, and obesity.