A greater trochanter injection is a procedure performed to relieve the pain felt from trochanteric bursitis. Though it may sound intimidating, trochanteric bursitis is a common type of chronic pain that more than 200,000 Americans experience every year. A trochanter is any one of two bony extensions that connect the muscles to the upper part of the thigh. This localized condition focuses on the hip’s outer area or the outside part of the upper leg, where the bursa is located. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac near a joint and is the root of inflammation for trochanteric bursitis.
What Causes Trochanteric Bursitis?
One or more of the following events can be attributed to causing trochanteric bursitis:
- Bad Posture – Due to the design of many office environments, people often develop a habit of sitting for long periods at a time with poor posture (hunching over, putting too much pressure on one side, slouching.) In time, these positions may cause spine problems like scoliosis or arthritis.
- Hip Injury – Bumping your hip into an object, falling on your hip, or lying on one side of your body for an extended period of time may all be causes of hip injury that inflame the bursa.
- Joint Overuse – Many daily activities bring an expected level of shock to the joints, but a select few such as running, climbing, or standing for too long can cause injury to those areas.
- Previous Surgery – Prosthetic implants in the hip or surgery around the hip may inflame the bursa if the recovery or surgery does not go as planned.
- Soft Tissue Stress – Differences in leg length or a case of arthritis can lead to poorly positioned joints or bones. The pressure from these bones can then inflict pressure on surrounding tissue.
Trochanteric bursitis is often found in middle-aged or elderly people.
Treatment with the Greater Trochanter Injection
The greater trochanter injection is a short procedure with a fast recovery time. Without complications, the patients can walk in and out of the clinic on the same day. In the beginning, the physician will use a local anesthetic to numb the skin and underlying tissue in the area where the patient feels chronic pain. Once the numbing is complete, the physician will locate the bursa which is causing the patient discomfort.
A fluoroscope is used to aid the doctor in sliding a needle down to the bursa to inject a contrast solution; this solution will show the doctor exactly where medication is needed to soothe the pain. A steroid-anesthetic mix that is injected into the bursa directly. This mix is what soothes the bursa’s inflammation. Once the physician removes the needle, a small band-aid covers the surface wound.
After the Procedure
A greater trochanter injection often provides quick relief from discomfort, but this relief is temporary. This injection will often be a part of managing pain symptoms, but will not cure them outright. You will most likely be advised to rest the area affected by bursitis so that when pain symptoms return, they will not be as severe. For the same reason, your pain expert may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medication or refer you to a physical therapist.
Garden State Pain Center is a pain clinic in New Jersey that offers greater trochanter injections to help patients feel immediate pain relief. Contact one of our locations today to schedule an appointment.