Original Research

Relationship Between Width of Greater Trochanters and Width of Iliac Wings in Trochanteric Bursitis

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Trochanteric bursitis is a common disorder that is char­acterized by inflammation of the bursa, superficial to the greater trochanter of the femur, leading to pain in the lateral hip, and often occurs because of acute trauma or repetitive friction involving the iliotibial band, the greater trochanter, and the bursa.

In the study reported here, we hypothesized that the increased incidence of bursitis may be the result of the increased prominence of the trochanter in relation to the wings of the iliac crest.

Distances between the outermost edges of trochan­ters and iliac wings were measured in 202 patients from the University of North Carolina Health Care System—101 without a known diagnosis and 101 with a clinical diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis. To determine significance, t tests for nonpaired data were used.

Mean (SD) difference between trochanter and iliac wing widths was 28 (20) mm in the group diagnosed with trochanteric bursitis and 17 (18) mm in the control group. The difference between the groups in this regard was significant (P<.00005). In addition, mean (SD) ratio of trochanter widths to iliac wing widths was 1.09 (.06) in the bursitis group and 1.05 (.06) in the control group. The difference between these groups was significant (P<.0005) in this regard as well.

Having trochanters wider in relation to iliac wings was associated with the diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis.


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