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A rotator cuff tear of the hip? Yes, it is possible.

"Gluteus medius tears of the hip can mimic bursitis."
-Dr. John Urse

"The gluteus medius is a muscle on the outside of the hip, which is important for abduction (lateral movement away from the body). These muscles help one stand upright and walk without a limp," explains Dr. John Urse.

"When you have shoulder pain and weakness, and you find and fix a rotator cuff, people get better. The same is true when you fix gluteus medius tears; patients who can't lie on their hip at night, have trouble with steps or experience leg fatigue are immediately better," said Dr. Urse, who’s done about 150 gluteus medius hip tendon repairs since 2011 and lectured to national audiences on this surgery.

"Like rotator cuff tears, gluteus medius tears can happen because of aging’s wear and tear, or trauma from a sports injury or fall. They may also cause weakness and limping. These symptoms tend to get worse the longer one sits, stands, or walks," he said.

The majority of patients achieve improvement by treating the painful area with ice, use of anti-inflammatory medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen, and refraining from activities that worsen the symptoms. However, if these non-operative measures fail, an outpatient, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary in order to return the patient to an active lifestyle.

Following surgery, physical therapy and a home exercise program is prescribed to slowly introduce hip motions and bring back the strength in the gluteus medius muscle. The length of rehabilitation time is determined by the severity of the tear.

For more information on gluteus medius tears of the hip, or for questions on arthroscopic hip surgery, please contact Dr. Urse. He is a board-certified, orthopedic surgeon with Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio. We have offices throughout the Miami Valley region to provide convenient, high quality orthopedic care to the community.

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