What Is The Trochanter Roll? (Definition And Explanation)

Trochanter Roll Explanation

The trochanter is part of the femur that connects to the hip bone. It also connects important muscles around the hips, pelvis, upper thigh, and the glutes. This part of the body is vital to mobility and healthy movement.

An injury to this part of the body would be devastating for an individual. It would also takes months of recovery and physical therapy to regain full mobility.

Two Different Parts Of The Trochanter

Greater Trochanter – Look at the picture above. It is the rough surface outside the upper right part of the femur neck.  It is bony-projection that attaches several muscles and bones in the hips, pelvis, and glutes together. This part of the bone is bigger in females then it is in males.

Lesser Trochanter – ​It is a circular projection (bump) at the bottom and inside of the femur neck. This part of the bone attaches two vital muscles in the hip flexor. These muscles are the iliacus and Psoas Major Muscle. These two muscles are very important when it comes to basic movement and strength in the hip, thigh, and pelvic region of the body.

The Role Of A Trochanter Roll?

The trochanter roll is a cushion tool or pillow used hold the hip in place or in a neutral position for an immobile patient when recovering from surgery or operation. It is mainly used to prevent external hip rotation. This means providing support to the hip and thigh region to prevent the legs from rolling outward when in a recumbent position.

We want the hips and legs aligned properly and supported with this tool. Without this roll, this part of the body will not be able to support itself. This could cause further issues or even injury in the near future.

These injuries include contraction (shortening, hardening, and laboring) of the muscle, tendon and ligament damage, muscle tears, physical discomfort, and pain in other areas of the body.

These tools are found in medical organizations such as clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, private practices, and rehabilitation centers. In these places, they will treat patients with specific hip problems, injuries, ailments, and issues. This is where the trochanter roll is useful.

There are many props you could use to serve this role if you do not have a formal roll. These props include foam rolls, pillows, cushions, or rolled up blanket. This rolls are useful to patients dealing with any type of paralysis, immobilization, dislocation of the hip bone, muscle or ligament tears and in the hip.

The Position Of Trochanter Roll

The patient is placed in a “laying down” position. They will be laying down on their back. The trochanter roll is placed on both sides the of the hip joints. It ranges in length from the lower back to the mid thigh.

As mentioned earlier, this keeps the legs (and hips) from rolling outward and away from the body. When the legs roll outwards, that will over extend the hips and spine. To protect the spine and make sure it is properly aligned with the head, a pillow might be placed under the feet to elevate the leg.

The arms rest along side the body. They can also rest on the chest or stomach. Also, make sure the neck and head are properly supported. It is very important that the body maintains proper posture and that no joints or muscles are put into unnatural positions.


It is very important that patients that are suffering from hip injury, go through extensive physical therapy when they are able and take all proper measures to recover. Injuries to the hip and pelvic region are serious and the recovery needs to be treated the same way. Take time and recover properly.

There are many weight training exercises, movement exercises, heat therapy, stretches, and massages that will help in rehabilitation. The trochanter belt can also help joint stability and muscular development for semi-recovered patients as they try to regain their movement.