Gluteus Medius Tears Specialist

Joshua D. Harris, MD -  - Orthopaedic Surgery

Joshua D. Harris, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery located in Houston, TX

Gluteus medius (or gluteus minimus) tears are a common cause of chronic hip pain. This pain is usually with walking and is frequently at night with laying on the side of the hip. If you experience hip pain that hasn’t resolved with rest or conservative care, see Joshua D. Harris, MD, in Houston. As an orthopedic hip specialist, Dr. Harris diagnoses and treats all causes of gluteus medius and minimus tears to get you out of pain and back to your normal activities as soon as possible. Learn if your symptoms might be caused by a gluteus medius tear by scheduling a consultation online or by phone today.

Gluteus Medius Tears Q & A

What are the signs of a gluteus medius (or gluteus minimus) tear?

The gluteus medius is a large muscle on the outside of your hip. Gluteus medius tears are a leading cause of chronic trochanteric hip pain. The trochanter of your hip is located on the outermost portion of your thigh bone and is often the widest part of your hip. Unfortunately, gluteus medius tears are frequently misdiagnosed as “hip bursitis”. Common signs of gluteus medius tears include:

  • Pain over the side of the hip
  • Limp with standing and walking
  • Night pain, especially when laying on the side of the hip
  • Buttock pain
  • Outer upper thigh pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Pain when externally rotating your hip
  • Pain with standing, walking, or sitting for long periods
  • Hip and buttock weakness

Gluteus medius tears may be mistaken for a bursitis or a condition in your lower back. If you experience symptoms of a gluteus medius tear that doesn’t get better after rest, icing, or taking pain medications, see Dr. Harris for a consultation.

What causes gluteus medius tears?

Gluteus medius tears are often the result of long-term wear-and-tear on the gluteus medius tendon or a traumatic injury to the area. Conditions that may predispose you to developing a gluteus medius tear include:

  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Trochanteric bursitis
  • Chronic muscle overuse

Degenerative tears occur twice as often as acute tears with a specific cause — either trauma or another injury to the gluteus medius.

How are gluteus medius tears diagnosed?

If you experience symptoms of a gluteus medius tear, Dr. Harris begins your visit with a thorough consultation to understand your symptoms and any factors contributing to your hip pain. He then completes a full physical and orthopedic exam of your hip to locate the source of your pain and any activities or movements that aggravate your pain.

Dr. Harris may take X-rays or order an MRI of your hip. Once Dr. Harris completes his exam and views your imaging, he determines your diagnosis and the severity of your tear.

How are gluteus medius tears treated?

Depending on your diagnosis, Dr. Harris may recommend conservative non-surgical management or a surgical repair. For tendonitis, tendinosis, and most partial-thickness gluteus medius tears, Dr. Harris may begin with a course of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or a period of rest.

If your symptoms don’t resolve or you have a complete tear, Dr. Harris recommends surgical repair of the tear.

To determine if you have a gluteus medius tear, see Joshua D. Harris, MD, for a consultation — schedule online or by phone now.