Surgical Treatment of Hip Abductor Tendon Tears

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Background:Greater trochanteric pain syndrome is a common orthopaedic condition related to underlying bursitis, but it may reflect gluteal tendinopathy with tendon disruption from the greater trochanter. Our goal was to evaluate our clinical experience with surgical repair of these tears.Methods:We retrospectively evaluated a consecutive series of twenty-two patients (twenty-three hips) with a tear of the hip abductor tendons who underwent surgical reconstruction and were followed for a minimum of five years. The preoperative evaluation revealed chronic lateral hip pain, a positive Trendelenburg sign, and a tear documented by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The tears were defined intraoperatively with a four-tiered scheme that accounted for the dimension of the tear ranging from partial-thickness undersurface tears to complete tears of the gluteus muscle tendon insertion.Results:The mean Harris hip score improved from 53 points preoperatively to 87 points at one year and 88 points at five years. The mean Lower-Extremity Activity Scale score improved from 6.7 points preoperatively to 8.9 points at one year and 8.8 points at five years. With the numbers available, no significant difference in the degree of clinical improvement was found on the basis of the severity of the tear. However, the three patients with poor results were in the group with the largest tears. Overall, sixteen of nineteen patients were satisfied with their surgical result and were willing to undergo the procedure again if necessary.Conclusions:Surgical repair of torn abductor tendons of the hip is a viable option when MRI and clinical findings are consistent with tendon disruption and weakness. There was substantial and durable improvement in strength and clinical performance in most cases.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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