Impact of fluoroscopic injection location on immediate and delayed pain relief in patients with greater trochanteric pain syndrome



The purpose of this study was to assess whether fluoroscopically guided corticosteroid injections into the extrabursal tissues, trochanteric (subgluteus maximus) bursa, or subgluteus medius bursa provide better immediate and short-term pain relief.

Materials and methods

All fluoroscopically guided corticosteroid injections performed over a 67-month period for greater trochanteric pain syndrome were retrospectively reviewed. Procedural images were reviewed by two musculoskeletal radiologists to determine the dominant injection site based on final needle positioning and contrast spread pattern, with discrepancies resolved by consensus. Statistical analysis of the association between pain score reduction and dominant injection site was performed.


One hundred forty injections in 121 patients met the inclusion criteria. The immediate and 1-week post-injection pain reduction was statistically significant for trochanteric bursa, subgluteus medius bursa, and non-bursal injections. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the degree of pain reduction between the groups. There was statistically significant increase in the 1-week post-injection mean pain score compared with immediate post-injection mean pain score in the subgluteus medius bursa and non-bursal injection groups (p < 0.01) but not in the trochanteric bursa group.


Fluoroscopy is frequently chosen over blind injection or ultrasound guidance for trochanteric steroid injections in patients with a high body mass index. Our results indicate that fluoroscopically guided steroid injections into the trochanteric bursa and subgluteus medius bursa significantly reduced immediate and 1-week post-injection pain scores, as do non-bursal injections. Steroid injection into the subgluteus medius bursa and non-bursal sites may be less effective in maintaining pain reduction at 1-week post-injection.

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Correspondence to Nicholas C. Nacey.

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Mao, L.J., Crudup, J.B., Quirk, C.R. et al. Impact of fluoroscopic injection location on immediate and delayed pain relief in patients with greater trochanteric pain syndrome. Skeletal Radiol 49, 1547–1554 (2020).

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  • Greater trochanteric pain syndrome
  • Fluoroscopy-guided injections
  • Hip pain