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Greater Trochanter Apophysitis in the Adolescent Athlete

Young, Simon W. MD; Safran, Marc R. MD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2015 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p e57–e58
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000127
Case Report

Abstract: Lower limb traction apophysitis is common in young athletes, occurring at sites such as the tibial tubercle (Osgood–Schlatter disease) and distal patella (Sinding–Larsen–Johansson disease). Around the hip, iliac apophysitis is well recognized, but no cases of greater trochanter apophysitis have previously been reported. We describe the case of a 15-year-old male basketball player with a 2-month history of the right hip pain and significant functional limitation. X-rays revealed widening of the greater trochanter apophysis with subchondral sclerosis, consistent with a diagnosis of traction apophysitis. The patient was treated with a period of relative rest and anti-inflammatory medication. He gradually returned to full athletic activity, including basketball, without recurrence of pain or limitation. We describe the first reported case of traction apophysitis of the greater trochanter. The unique muscular anatomy of this apophysis with balanced forces explains the rarity of this condition. If encountered, rest and activity modification is the recommended treatment.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, Redwood City, California.

Corresponding Author: Marc R. Safran, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, 450 Broadway St, MC 6342, Redwood City, CA 94063 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received November 18, 2013

Accepted May 05, 2014

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