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Orthopaedic Specialties

Trochanteric Bursitis and Hip Pointers

Your hips are among the most crucial joints in your body. They provide a link between the upper and lower parts of your body. Hip injuries can be both painful and life-altering. Two such conditions are trochanteric bursitis and hip pointers.


Trochanteric Bursitis

The hip joint connects the thigh bone with the pelvis. In addition, the hip is located close to key muscles, such as the inner thigh muscles, the buttocks, leg muscles, and the hamstrings.
The hip is made up of many complex structures. The largest part of the hip bone is the iliac crest. Another structure is the greater trochanter.


Trochanteric bursitis arises when fluid-filled sacs located near the hip joint and greater trochanter (bursa) become irritated or inflamed. A hip pointer can occur when you sustain an injury to the iliac crest.


Generally, hip pointers are a result of a forceful impact to your hip. Contact sports like football are frequently linked to hip pointer injuries. They can also occur after a car accident or a bad fall.
There are a few underlying conditions for the development of trochanteric bursitis, including:

      • An autoimmune disorder.
      • A traumatic injury.
      • Improper posture.
      • Participating in activities that place additional stress on the hip joint.
      • Other hip injuries.
      • Calcium deposits collecting on surrounding soft tissues.
      • Infections.

Risk Factors

If you are participate in athletic activities such as football, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, and basketball, you may significantly increase your risk of developing a hip pointer injury. Frequently these injuries occur because athletes neglect to wear proper protective equipment such as padding or taping.
The possibility of developing trochanteric bursitis increases if:

      • You perform activities that require you to stand or climb for extended periods.
      • You partake in contact sports.
      • You had hip surgery.
      • You have artificial hip implants.
      • You are a female.
      • You are middle-aged or older.


The most noticeable hip pointer symptom is pain. The pain can usually be felt immediately after the injury occurs and can be intense. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to restrict your ability to perform simple tasks like walking or even standing.

Medically speaking, hip pointer injuries are called contusions (bruising). Frequently bruising and swelling are visible in the affected hip region. The patient could also experience a limited range of motion in the affected hip and leg.

With trochanteric bursitis, you experience deep hip discomfort. Characteristically, the pain activates in the hip’s outer region and spreads to the buttocks and thigh. The symptoms usually worsen when you lie on the affected hip or engage in more strenuous activities such as climbing stairs.


A hip pointer usually is not difficult to diagnose. In many cases, the issue can be detected during a routine physical examination. The physician may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, bone scans, and CT scans to confirm and determine the injury’s severity.
To identify trochanteric bursitis, your physician will carefully examine the affected hip’s pointer region. The ailment often leads to swelling in the area. They might also order imaging tests to eliminate other injuries or illnesses that produce similar symptoms.

Treatment Overview

Generally, hip pointers respond to non-surgical treatment options. Trochanteric bursitis can also respond favorably to non-invasive therapies. Severe occurrences may require surgery.

Non-Surgical Options

By and large, a hip pointer injury will heal utilizing a medical method known as the POLICE method. POLICE stands for Protection, Optimum Loading, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Protection – ensuring the injured hip has as little stress as possible. Use crutches for a week or until the swelling decreases.
Optimum Loading – refers to only performing light exercises to ensure the affected hip does not weaken or lose its motion range.
Ice should be applied to promote healing and keep the swelling down.
Compressing the injury using a compression bandage can be helpful, but compression is not always possible since the hip is large and located in a difficult position.
Elevate your injured hip above your heart to help increase blood flow to the affected area and speed up the healing process.

The primary treatment for trochanteric bursitis is like those used for hip pointers. Icing, resting, elevating, and compressing the injured region may prove effective.
Later if more aggressive treatment is required, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing drugs, order steroid injections, and suggest an extended course of physical therapy.

Surgical Procedures

Typically, hip pointers heal with standard treatment within one to three weeks and do not need surgery.
The most severe cases of trochanteric bursitis might require surgical intervention to remove the damaged along with any damaged tissues.

Next Steps

Talk to your Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine physician to learn more about trochanteric bursitis and hip pointers.