Intended for healthcare professionals


Management of lateral hip pain

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 21 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b713
  1. Roald Bahr, professor 1,
  2. Karim Khan, professor2
  1. 1Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, 0806 Oslo, Norway
  2. 2Department of Family Practice and Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5Z 1M9
  1. roald{at}

    Similar principles can be applied from evidence at other anatomical sites

    Lateral hip pain has several different labels including trochanteric bursitis, gluteal tendinopathy, trochanteric tendinobursitis, and greater trochanter pain syndrome. Regardless of the name, patients with pain of the lateral hip present in various settings—primary care, sports medicine, orthopaedics, rheumatology, and spine and rehabilitation medicine. In the linked randomised controlled trial (doi:10.1136/bmj.b1088), Cohen and colleagues compared corticosteroid injections that were fluoroscopically guided with those that were anatomically guided in the treatment of greater trochanteric pain syndrome.1

    The condition is common and often chronic,2 3 and the diagnosis is overlooked in many cases. One in five patients referred to a tertiary care orthopaedic spine centre because of low back pain were diagnosed with greater trochanter pain syndrome, a diagnosis that had been missed by the referring general practitioners and specialty surgeons.4

    The absence of a uniform terminology for this common condition reflects our ignorance of both the pathology and the source of pain. This applies not only to greater trochanter pain syndrome, …

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