Arthroscopic bursectomy for recalcitrant trochanteric bursitis

Champ L Baker, R Vaughan Massie, W Grear Hurt, Carlton G Savory
Arthroscopy 2007, 23 (8): 827-32

PURPOSE: The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the arthroscopic treatment of trochanteric bursitis in patients who have not responded to nonoperative treatment.

METHODS: Thirty patients were enrolled in this study to evaluate the results of arthroscopic bursectomy. Outcomes were assessed by use of a visual analog pain scale, Harris Hip Score, Short Form 36 Health Survey, and additional specific hip function questions. Patients were given the self-administered outcome questionnaires before surgery and at subsequent follow-up visits. Of the patients, 25 were available for a mean follow-up of 26.1 months (range, 13.8 to 41 months).

RESULTS: Pain scores on the visual analog scale improved from a preoperative mean of 7.2 (0, no pain; 10, worst pain) to a postoperative mean of 3.1 at final follow-up (P = .0001). Mean Harris Hip Scores improved from a mean of 51 preoperatively to 77 at follow-up (P = .0001). Improvements were also noted in the physical component summary scores of the Short Form 36. The mean physical function score improved from 33.6 preoperatively to 54 at follow-up (P = .022), and in the pain category, the mean score improved from 28.7 to 51.5 (P = .001). One postoperative complication occurred, a seroma that required repeat surgery. One patient had a failed arthroscopic bursectomy and subsequently underwent open bursectomy with resolution of symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Arthroscopic bursectomy appears to be an effective option for recalcitrant trochanteric bursitis and is a viable alternative to open bursectomy. In this prospective study patients had good pain relief and improved function compared with their preoperative status. Improvements in a patient's status are usually evident by 1 to 3 months after surgery and appear to be lasting.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, therapeutic case series.

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