What is a trochanteric hip fracture?

A trochanteric hip fracture is an uncommon injury. The trochanter might be damaged on its own or part of another form of hip damage. The individual might experience thigh or hip pain with or without trauma responsible for the injury. The treatment is based on the cause and seriousness of the damage.

Both greater and lesser trochanters are positioned at the head of the femur close to the hip joint.

  • Greater trochanter – this is a large, bony protrusion on the exterior of the femur.
  • Lesser trochanter – this is a bony prominence on the interior region of the femur

Lesser trochanteric hip fracture: Causes and treatment

A lesser trochanteric hip fracture can occur as an isolated injury or together with other fractures. If it is an isolated injury, it is brought about by strong contraction of the iliopsoas muscles among teenagers or a benign or malignant bone tumor among older adults.


A lesser trochanteric hip fracture can occur as an isolated injury or together with other fractures.

If the injury is a simple avulsion fracture, surgery can realign the bony fragments. In case a tumor is present, the treatment involves a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Greater trochanteric hip fracture: Causes and treatment

A greater trochanteric hip fracture typically occurs as a component of an intertrochanteric fracture pattern.

An isolated case is considered rare. It is likely to occur among elderly individuals from direct trauma to the exterior of the hip or indirectly via strong contraction of the gluteus muscles.

The fracture is generally managed without surgery. The conservative approach involves bed rest initially. As the signs settle, the individual can use crutches and engage in stretching to restore hip function.

In case the bony fragments have been displaced more than 1 cm, surgical intervention is carried out to realign the bone and promote healing. Wires under tension are often utilized in realigning the bony fragments.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a trochanteric hip fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the indications of injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Saskatoon First Aid.


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