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Finding Out More About Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome

Posted on: 11/30/1999
Tenderness without inflammation alongside the hip is called greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS). This condition is not the same as hip bursitis, which does have inflammation.

In this study, researchers look at how often (prevalence) GTPS occurs in a group of adults ages 50 to 79 with hip pain. Anyone with a total hip replacement was not included.

The secondary goal of the study was to find out if GTPS is linked with sex, weight, or other problems in the lower limb. It's possible that GTPS may be more likely to occur in people with low back pain or knee osteoarthritis. At the same time, the authors looked to see if hip internal motion or level of physical activity were limited in patients with GTPS.

After examining over 3,000 adults with hip pain, they found that about nine per cent of men and 24 per cent of women had GTPS. This makes GTPS a common problem. Factors linked with GTPS appear to be female sex, tenderness over the iliotibial band (ITB), and knee osteoarthritis. The ITB is a band of connective tissue along the outside of the upper leg. The ITB goes from the hip to the knee. Knee pain and low back pain were also associated with GTPS.

This study could not say if the GTPS came first or if knee pain and arthritis, low back pain, and obesity were caused by GTPS. Longer studies are needed to identify cause and effect. This study did not answer the question of how to treat this problem. Future research to find out about the final outcomes of intervention are also needed.

Neil A. Segal, MD, et al. Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome: Epidemiology and Associated Factors. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. August 2007. Vol. 88. No. 8. Pp. 988-992.

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