Glucocorticoid injections for greater trochanteric pain syndrome: a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled (GLUTEAL) trial.


Department of Rheumatology, Geneva University Hospital, 26 Avenue Beau-Séjour, 1211, Geneva 14, Switzerland. [Email]


Small observational studies suggest that local glucocorticoid (GC) injection may be effective in the management of the greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS). The objective was to perform the first randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial to investigate the efficacy of local GC injection in the management of GTPS. The trial was conducted between November 2011 and May 2015. Inclusion criteria included lateral hip pain (LHP) for greater than 1 month, a LHP score of ≥ 4/10 and typical LHP reproduced by palpation of the greater trochanter. Participants were randomised in a 1:1 ratio to injection with a combination of local anaesthetic and GC (intervention) or injection with normal saline solution (placebo). The primary outcome of interest was the difference in pain intensity at 4 weeks post-injection between the two groups. Patients were followed for 6 months. A total of 46 patients were included. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of pain reduction at 1 month (p = 0.23). When including all measures in the first 4 weeks and using multilevel regression, there was a trend towards improvement in pain scores in favour of the intervention group (p = 0.08). There were no significant differences in pain scores between groups at 3 and 6 months. In the management of GTPS, local glucocorticoid injections are of no greater efficacy than injection of normal saline solution. Given the lack of long-term improvement and the potential for cortisone-related side effects, this intervention is of limited benefit.


Glucocorticoids,Hip joint,Injections,Pain,Tendinopathy,