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Gluteus Tendon Tear

What are Gluteus Tendon Tears?

The gluteal muscles (situated in the buttocks) are necessary for the stability and movement of the hip joints. The tendons of two gluteal muscles (gluteus medius and gluteal minimus) are attached at the outer hip region and are often called the “rotator cuff of the hip.” These tendons may be subject to injury or tearing due to various reasons. Since these gluteal muscles are involved in abduction (movement of your leg away from the midline of the body), the tears are also called abductor tendon tears.

Causes of Gluteus Tendon Tears

There exist numerous causes associated with gluteal tendon tears including:

  • Traumatic hip injuries
  • Hip tendinitis (irritation and swelling of the tendons) from sports-related overuse
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Age-related degeneration of the tendons
  • Injury during total hip replacement surgery

Symptoms of Gluteus Tendon Tears

The common symptoms of gluteal tendon tears include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the hip region which is usually aggravated by lying on the affected side
  • Abnormal gait
  • Muscle weakness

Diagnosis of Gluteus Tendon Tears
Your doctor will review your symptoms and physically examine your hip to diagnose a gluteus tendon tear. An MRI scan is performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Gluteus Tendon Tears

Partial tears may be treated by conservative therapy without surgery. Surgical intervention is necessary if your symptoms persist even after conservative therapy or if you have a full thickness tear.

Conservative Treatment

This may involve the following measures:

  • Modifying your daily activities
  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers
  • Physical therapy involving strengthening exercises

Surgical Treatment

Surgery involves an open procedure in which the tendons are reattached to the bone using sutures and anchors.

The procedure of Gluteus Repair Surgery

Surgery involves the following steps:

  • General anesthesia is administered.
  • A 4-6 inch incision is made to access the gluteus tendons.
  • A trochanteric bursectomy is performed to remove inflamed bursa tissue.
  • A device known as a suture anchor is used to repair your torn tendons.
  • The incision is closed using dissolvable sutures.

Recovery After Gluteus Tendon Repair

  • Crutches are recommended for 6-8 weeks to decrease stress on the repaired tendon
  • Physical therapy is necessary and is initiated the day following surgery
  • You will need to follow certain precautions to avoid a re-tear
  • Complete healing may take up to 4 months