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Surgical Treatment of Hip Abductor Tendon Tears
Joseph F. Davies, MD1; James B. Stiehl, MD2; Joseph A. Davies, BA3; Patrick B. Geiger, PAC4
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aurora Sinai Medical Center, 945 North 12th Street, Suite 1200, Milwaukee, WI 53233. E-mail address: docjoed@aol.com
2 St. Mary’s Hospital, 1054 Martin Luther King Drive, #226, Centinaela, IL 62801
3 P.O. Box 1588, Park City, UT 84060
4 155 Green Bay Road, Cedarburg, WI 35012
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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Aug 07;95(15):1420-1425. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00709
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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.


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.


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.


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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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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