Abductor Tendon Tear

Gluteus Minimus Repair

The abductor muscles originate on the pelvis and attach to the side of the femur around the hip, on the bony prominence on the side of the hip. They function to move the leg out to the side such as in lateral movements and help stabilize the pelvis and body when standing on one leg.

Just like any other muscle/tendon unit, the tendon can tear away from the bone. This is most similar to the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. A tendon tear can be a small tear that causes pain with various activities to a complete tear that causes pain and weakness.

Symptoms of abductor tendon dysfunction or bursitis include pain on the side of the hip, worse with stairs, walking, sitting, and difficulty with sleeping on the side (either side).

Lateral hip pain is thought to be from bursitis and often this is the case. However, a persistent bursitis type pain could actually be an underlying tendon tear. Because the bursa is located next to the tendons, these two can occur together and differentiating the two is difficult. An MRI can help distinguish between the two. If there are signs of weakness, indicating a complete tear, an MRI will be done soon to confirm the tendon is completely torn. With a complete tendon tear, an endoscopic repair is recommended.

Initial treatment options for bursitis or partial tears include anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, activity modification and corticosteroid injection. If these treatments are not successful, an MRI is performed to assess the underlying abductor tendons. If MRI does not show a tendon tear, an outpatient endoscopic surgeryis a surgical option to remove the bursa. If MRI does show a partial tendon tear, an outpatient endoscopic tendon repair is recommended.