What are Gluteus Medius/Minimus Tears?
The gluteus muscles are a group of muscles that allow an individual to partake in rigorous activities such as running and jumping. These muscles are broad, strong muscles that make up the outer buttocks in the human body. There are two muscles to consider:
- The gluteus medius muscle is located at the outer part of the hip.
- The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the gluteal muscles and is located immediately beneath the gluteus medius.
Together, these muscles work to straighten the hip during activity, stabilize the pelvis and assist with outer movements of the hip. A tear in the gluteus medius muscle typically occurs at the area where the muscle attaches to the femur bone. Gluteus tears can occur from traumatic injuries which cause the tendon to peel off of the bone. However, most gluteal tears are degenerative and are caused by chronic inflammation from repetitive movements and overuse. This can sometimes be associated with trochanteric bursitis of the hip. Dr. Jeff Padalecki, hip specialist serving Austin, Round Rock, and Cedar Park, Texas communities, is available to both diagnose and treat tears of the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.
What are the Symptoms of a Gluteus Medius/Minimus Tear?
The primary symptoms of a gluteal tear include an abnormal gait, hip pain, and lower back pain. Symptoms become worse with long periods of sitting, standing, and walking. Some patients experience hip tenderness when lying on the affected side. Symptoms will also depend on the grade of the injury:
- Grade 1: Mild pain with little or no loss of mobility
- Grade 2: Partial tear with mild pain and a noticeable loss in strength and flexibility
- Grade 3: Full/complete tear; severe pain coupled with a complete loss of strength; limited mobility
How are Gluteus Medius/Minimus Tears Diagnosed?
A tear of the gluteus muscle can usually be discovered through a physical exam. Dr. Padalecki will conduct a series of tests to check for tenderness over the lateral hip area. Additional strength tests may reveal pain and weakness with resisted hip abduction. To rule out other injuries and conditions, Dr. Padalecki could order an X-ray or MRI to take a further look inside the hip and give a final diagnosis on the grade of the tear.