The sense and nonsense of the greater trochanteric pain syndrome

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) is a very common “diagnosis”, which in fact is not a diagnosis at all, but more an aspecific umbrella term which could describe a number – or combination – of pathologies. Although GTPS is often attributed to greater trochanteric bursitis, other diagnoses, such as gluteus tendinopathy, tear, or both and abnormalities of the adjacent iliotibial band, have emerged as more likely causes of trochanteric pain. Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) is able to visualize and assess the anatomical tissues of the trochanteric region.

Long et al. describe in their research that the cause of greater trochanteric pain is usually some combination of pathology involving the gluteus medius and minimus tendons as well as the iliotibial band. Trochanteric bursitis is present in only the minority of patients. Bird et al. have suggested that fluid in the greater trochanteric bursa is secondary to a gluteal tendon abnormality.

Finding the exact cause of GTPS is crucial as MSKUS findings will have implications for clinical reasoning, treatment options, prognosis, advice and information. SonoSkills advises to always scan the trochanteric region with MSKUS before intervening.

The PubMed link to the article of Long et al. can be read here: http://bit.ly/2pzupLS

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