Gluteus Medius Pain
What Causes Gluteus Medius Pain?
Recurring pain at the side of the hip might be due to a torn gluteus medius muscle. Gluteus medius is responsible for abduction, or outward movement of the legs from the body. Occurring after gluteus medius is torn from the greater trochanter, a tear prevents proper walking, and causes sharp pain at the side of the hip with any attempt at weightbearing.
What are the Symptoms of Gluteus Medius Tear?
Common symptoms include:
- Pain and inflammation at the side of the hip
- Pain sitting or moving the leg
- Warmth, tenderness, or redness in the affected region.
Your orthopedic surgeon can diagnose a gluteus medius tear by raising the leg away from the body to target the area of tenderness and weakness. MRI may be useful in determining the extent of tissue damage, revealing if the tendon is stretched or torn.
Gluteus Medius Tear Treatment
In most cases, anti-inflammatory medications will reduce swelling and pain. Icing and gentle stretching can also help. Several days of rest to relieve inflammation and irritation before beginning physiotherapy is recommended. A corticosteroid injection into the trochanteric bursa may help to alleviate pain during recovery.
Icing or ultrasound treatments to settle inflammation, manual and isometric stretching to relieve stiffness and increase blood flow to the affected muscle, and, after several weeks, strength and resistance exercises designed to rebuild muscle mass and restore mobility are common treatment regimes.
If pain persists after 3-6 months of conservative treatment, the torn gluteus medius may need to be surgically repaired in only very specific indications. Most traumatic gluteus medius tears can be repaired arthroscopically. More severe ruptures may need to be repaired with open surgery during which anchors are used to stabilise the repaired tendon.
After surgery (arhroscopic or open), patients need to walk with crutches or a stabilizing device. Whilst movement is restricted for at least six months, physiotherapy usually begins within several weeks of surgery to stretch the gluteus medius. Later, strengthening exercises are employed to support the healing hip and prevent future injury to the weakened tendon.