Saturday, September 6, 2014

Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome

What the royal heck is Trochanteric Bursitis? Yes, seriously indeed! Hey you there! Huh? What the heck is Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome you say? Yes, this is exactly what I am asking myself. You see, I finally paid a visit to my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hakim, at the prodding of my dear old ex-hubby.

a lot of hips art print
The now ex-hubby said, you'd better get that hip of yours checked out so that you are OK for our upcoming vacation in Greece. You know, that is a trip of a lifetime, and I want you to be OK and able to hike the ruins of ancient Greece.

I am walking into the examination room and there I see Dr. Hakim sitting with the gang. "What are YOU doing here?" he asks. "Oh, I couldn't stay away from my favorite doctor!" You know, it helps that you would have a favorite doctor when you are wondering about your hip pain.

Welcome to my journey to conquer my hip joint pain! So you see, I left Dr. Hakim's office with a diagnosis of Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. I had never heard of this before, but I did know a bit about bursitis.

Let me tell you more about my journey! This is my personal story of experiencing this painful condition. My story will unfold for you, just as it happens! I will update my story as it goes! You know, I've already been to Dr. Hakim twice! Read all about those visits! Say there! "What the Heck!

Photo Credit: A Lot of Hips Art Print by Shan Kelly.

The Trochanteric Bursitis Poll
Have you been diagnosed with Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome? Which of these statements best fits YOU?
  1. I have personally been diagnosed with Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome!
  2. I know someone who has Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome!
  3. I have had hip replacement!
  4. I have hip pain, but think it is arthritis or osteoarthritis!
  5. I never heard of Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome!

My Initial Diagnosis of Trochanteric Bursitis
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome - Do you have a pain in your groin?

Ah, when I was being escorted into the examination room, Dr. Hakim's assistant asked me "Do you have a pain in your groin?" I told her well not exactly as it wasn't my groin that had been bothering me. I gestured to the outside of my right hip, pointing at what us women affectionately like to call the "widest part." She shook her head and mumbled something which I think had to do with the greater trochanter portion of my femur.

I sat down in the chair in the corner of the exam room and went about completing the medical questionnaire. It had been a few years since I had last seen Dr. Hakim. You see, he and I went round and round several years ago when he performed a couple of surgeries on my left shoulder to repair a SLAP Tear. That was probably the most painful couple of years, requiring several courses of pain management until I was free of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. A few years later, I returned to Dr. Hakim for surgery to a repair Meniscus Tear of my left knee.

My pain can go from moderate to excruciating when I walk up an incline or up and down some steps. And, when it starts to hurt, it won't quit! I have used a lot of heat wraps and patches like ThermaCare Lower Back & Hip Heat Wraps.

A couple of x-rays were taken of my right hip and then Dr. Hakim came in for the exam. We talked about why I had waited three years or so before coming to see him. He mentioned that it would have been better that I came at the initial onset of the pain symptoms.

Dr. Hakim had me lie on the exam table and began a series of manipulations with my right leg and hip. He checked the length of both my legs to see if my right leg was a different length from my left leg. Glad to know I passed that test! When he pushed my leg and hip up and outwards, I felt discomfort. Then he began pressing on a variety of areas on the outside of my right hip and on the back side of my hip. Yes, Yes, No, YES! Bingo! You have Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome.

ICD-9-CM diagnosis code 726.5 Enthesopathy of hip region; ICD-9-CM diagnosis code 846.9 Unspecified site of sacroiliac region sprain.

Detailed Visit $200.00; Hip x-ray $55.00; AP Pelvis x-ray $50.00 = $305.00

A Trochanteric Bursitis Test
Here is a YouTube video that shows exactly what Dr. Hakim did in my exam!

The Initial Treatment for Trochanteric Bursitis
How would you like a cortisone shot in the hip? With the initial diagnosis of Trochanteric Bursitis being made, we next discussed treatment recommendations and options. What impressed me initially, was Dr. Hakim's query of why I had waited so long to seek a diagnosis. "Well, you see, my mom has a bad hip too" I said, "And my aunt had two hip replacements ... I think it runs in the family."

Portable Dual Channel Tens Unit
I had waited so long to seek a doctor's care because I was so sure it meant a hip replacement for me! I had NO IDEA that we would be talking about something else; i.e. Trochanteric Bursitis.

OK, so Dr. Hakim began talking about a cortisone injection into my hip; he said that he prepares the injection there in the office and that there would be a slight numbing effect up to say 12 hours and that the shot shouldn't hurt too bad. Well, by that time, his assistant was smiling and shaking her head. "Oh, I know how you are about shots and needles" she said. "Well, you think about it and I'll be back in a few minutes" Dr. Hakim calmly replied.

I got off the exam table, sat in the chair in the corner, wiped my sweaty hands and thought about it. You know, I had convinced myself that I would tough out the shot that day. However, when Dr. Hakim returned to the room, he had already figured I would say NO SHOT. "OK" he said, "I will give you a prescription for the Flector Patch and make an appointment for you to return in 2 weeks and we can give you the cortisone injection then."

Since my shoulder surgery several years earlier, I had purchased a Tens Unit that I was using frequently. I opted to use that Tens Unit on my hip.

rx for flector patch gray box
Rx for Flector Patch
OMG! A one-month supply of the Flector Patch 1.3%
cost $283.54 out-of-pocket and I have health insurance too!

Two Weeks Follow Up Doctor Appointment
I returned to see Dr. Hakim on June 24, 2010, two weeks after my initial appointment. We had set up this appointment with the option of canceling if I opted to not want to return. It had been two weeks of wearing the Flector Patch. The doctor's assistant had mentioned that I might want to cut the patch in half to make it go further. That would be a good idea on a patch that costs just about $5.00 each!

Thus far, I have experienced no major improvements to the pain in my right hip after wearing that Flector Patch for two weeks. I didn't have any specific expectations, well other than the fact that the prescription cost almost $300.00 and I thought I'd have something really major to report. You know, less pain or pain-free? Well, I am still wearing the patch and still waiting.

navy blue medishorts
Medishorts Exam Blue Large/xl 50/case
Preparing for the cortisone shot, the doctor's assistant handed me a pair of MediShorts. The label says Item #10001 by Graham Medical Products.

"Oh wow bloomers!" We were laughing about the shorts and asking some personal questions, like "should I take off my underwear?" Ha! Too much information for this article folks. Dr. Hakim came in and asked if I need somebody to hold my hand. Ah ... no thank you doctor. "Have you got a blindfold?" Ha!

Dr. Hakim pressed/poked a couple of spots to elicit a "bingo" or "eureka" from me. He then tore a hole in the shorts, at the side of my right hip, and proceeded to make 4 separate injections from the one needle. He mentioned that I should feel a bit of pressure -- sure sure -- and ouch from the injection.

My Next Doctor Appointment
My next appointment was set for July 16, 2010, a follow-up in three weeks. However, on July 12th, I called and cancelled that appointment although I am experiencing a bit of increased pain. I told Julie, in Dr. Hakim's office, that my finances at the moment didn't support extra expenses which I could control. I hope to reschedule in the near future.

So, today's visit cost $220.00. That included the office visit as an Expanded Prob 99213 = $100.00. The shot was the rest of the charges! Office Procedures of Major Joint/Bursa/Gan = 20610 = $100.00 + Xylocaine J2000 = $5.00 + Cortisone J0810 = $15.00.

Trochanteric Bursitis? Why These Hips Don't Lie
Hips Don't Lie

Adding a little humor to the equation! Hey Hey Hey! Hello there ... if anything we've learned over all these years of being impacted by age is to have a sense of humor about it all. After all, if you can't smile about it, what's the alternative? Shrivel up and die maybe? I think NOT.

Life has been a spiritual journey for me and I am feeling like I need to express this more these days. I think the end is surely near. My mom has been telling us more and more that she won't be around much longer. I've sat up and taken notice ... you see, me and my mom are pretty much alike ... in many ways! From the physical ailments to the mental to the spiritual ... and she can cook too.

Ah, Sit on IT!

Large Extra Firm Tush Cush Seat Cushion - Navy - Firm foam for those over 200 lbs or those who prefer a firmer cushion.

Full Size (14 inches by 18 inches) - The Original High Quality Tush Cush is designed to relieve and prevent back pain, numb buttocks and other discomforts associated with sitting.

Cutout section suspends your tailbone (coccyx) reducing pressure on your lower lumbar discs. Wedge shape (slant from the back 3" down to 1/2" in the front) tilts your pelvis forward to restore your spine's natural lumbar lordotic curve.

Thanks for dropping by today.
Have you personally been diagnosed with Trochanteric Bursitis aka Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome? Or, perhaps you happen to know somebody who has this painful "affliction?" Trust me, it is NO picnic.

I'd surely love to hear from you especially if you have experience with this. It is just the beginning of my journey and I hope to be successful in my journey to overcome this painful condition and get back to "my hips don't lie" anymore! Hey, give me a shout out today!

History: Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome! What the Heck! was originally created on June 11, 2010. Highest lensrank ever achieved: #3,815 overall. Lens #644 in the quest for Giant Squid 700 Club.


  1. I have just been diagnosed with this and was offered the injection treatment. I had hip pain about 10 years ago and the pain from the injection was worse than the pain from the bursitis. They sprayed a coolant (very cold) on the site while giving the injection. Relief lasted only about 2 hours.

    1. That injection did hurt like crazy!!! I tend to react with pain when I have any injection. It did eventually ease up on that pain and then the bursitis was better ... but not today!

  2. You did not mention the level of pain involved in the injection treatment. Was it bearable? Was it successful as far as you are concerned?

    1. I don't like needles, so any injection probably has a bit of pain from my dislike of getting stuck. I can't now remember how long that treatment was successful. I find today that a little bit of walking up an incline will trigger the pain and feel like my hip needs a replacement. That was my only injection! Haven't been back to that doctor ... and now I am on social security and medicare ... so don't know what course I will elect. Honestly? It doesn't get better.