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Gluteal Tendon Tears

Gluteal Tendon Tears

OVERVIEW

The gluteal tendons are the attachments of the powerful gluteal tendons to the femur bone.  These can tear, which can cause hip pain, weakness, and limping.

The gluteal tendons are the attachments of two strong muscles, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus into the femur (thigh bone).  These tendons are sheet-like, tough tissues which are strong enough to withstand high forces.  They are responsible for moving the thigh outwards (away from) the body, and for maintaining balance during walking and when standing.

These tendons may become inflamed (tendinitis) from a variety of causes such as: overuse, trauma/injuries, inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis), trochanteric bursitis or surgery.   If tendon inflammation continues, then tearing and rupture of the tendons can occur.

Gluteal tendon tears can be painful and are a common cause of hip pain, however, in some cases they may be completely asymptomatic and may be detected only when the hip is imaged for other reasons.  Other symptoms commonly include: limping (waddling gait), weakness, and clicking or snapping of the hip.

Above: The hip viewed from side on, the arrows indicate gluteal muscle contraction.
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