View Full Version : Anyone ever torn a gluteus minimus tendon?

Dec. 7, 2009, 01:01 PM
I tore the tendon right off the hip, along with the gluteus medius muscle. Sometimes I can walk without too much of a limp, sometimes I depend on a cane and get sooooo tired sooooo easily. The biggest problem is climbing stairs or even stepping up on a curb. I put my left foot up and can't lift my weight. They're going to try to repair it, but the surgeon said the tendon may repair OK but he doesn't have a lot of hope for the muscle as it's been torn for so long (no one believed me until I had 3 MRI's and finally found an orthopedic surgeon who would believe what the radiologist said about it being torn) that the repair might not hold.

There is no way I can mount a horse from the ground, and I'm not stable enough to climb a mounting block.

Anyone have this repair (they're apparently not that common anyway) and go back to riding? or even easy walking?

Feb. 19, 2010, 09:36 AM
Hi Tiki,

Any news on your situation w/ gluteus minimus tear? I have the same thing - plus damage to tendons in thigh, same side; an injury from 6 mos. ago that I ignored and am now completely off my feet. Have had 2 MRIs, 5 weeks of PT that I thought was helping, but then had a major setback and, as mentioned, ended up completely off my feet and going stir crazy. Next week is follow up appt. w/ orth. Dr. for consult of last MRI report, etc.

Did you get a cortisone inject. and/or go for the surg. repair?

I would appreciate any information and hope you have improved.



Feb. 19, 2010, 02:51 PM
Hi Tiki and Teresa,

I asked my guru PT some time ago about hip questions, and she mentioned something about this kind of injury. She is in Middleburg, Va. That is close for you, Tiki.

She said that your kind of injury happens more often in horsefolk, and we don't really think about it at the time. She did give us the name of a hip guru, who has been doing advanced successful work. He is located in the No Va area. When my DH gets home from the store, I can ask him for the name and Pm you both.

At least, it will give you some more second opinions and options.

Apr. 13, 2010, 01:15 PM
My13 yr old daughter tore her gluteus minimus and slightly tore her vastus medialis as well, when she was bucked off into a fence. This happened 2 days ago. We were sent home with PT instructions (no surgery), but I am very nervous because I have read online that these injuries can prevent really ever being able to seriously ride again, if healing isn't perfect. Any and all advice would be appreciated!!!!

Apr. 13, 2010, 03:12 PM
Hi Tiki,
My horse recently did something similar. He tore the medial glute from the femur bilaterally and on the left side he also has a small avulsion fracture at the third trochanteric process. They are going to do shockwave therapy for him and my vet says prognosis is good.
Has your doctor recommended shockwave at all for you?
I'm sorry you're going through this, and should you start a glute injury club, my horse would like to join.

Apr. 13, 2010, 03:41 PM
Whicker please post or PM me the name of the hip guru. I just had a fall a couple of days ago and my injuries are similar to what is described above. Hip hurts, can't lift leg to walk up steps and can only lift it out to the side a very little. :(

Apr. 13, 2010, 04:55 PM
OK, guys, I'm back. The gluteus minimus tendon, (mine was torn on the left side) is a major tendon that holds the hip girdle together and allows you to stand and walk easily.

Did you get a cortisone inject. and/or go for the surg. repair?
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! Don't let them inject cortisone!!!!! Yes, they tried that first when they all refused to acknowledge that I could have torn the tendon and insisted I had bursitis. Mine may have been, or started with, a horse injury, but I have an underlying autoimmune disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis. That leaves you with a great deficit of thyroid hormone (even though the thyroid lab tests look normal - another battle that I won't go into further here) that possibly/probably weakened the tendon by causing it to thin and stretch and also destroying the collagen and making the whole connection brittle. I think it was when they added the cortisone that it finally, completely tore. Who really knows.

Cortisone weakens the connective tissue and turns the tendon mushy. The surgeon was furious when he heard they had given me cortisone shots. He thought he might not have any good tissue to work with.

Anyway. It was a nightmare to get it diagnosed and while they were futzing around with trying to figure out what was wrong with me they said, "Oh well, even if it is torn, it can't be repaired anyway". Well, the doc that finally finally diagnosed it - by another MRI - said they had a new joint replacement specialist there that he wanted to talk to about it. He called me in for a review and exam and said he could repair it. He'd only done about 10 before, but his mentors in New York City do 1500 - 1800 a year, most of them referred in.

Well, once this tendon is torn off the hip, you lose one body side's support. I walked with a pretty good limp for a long time - EVEN with a cane suppporting me. I was slouched over and blamed that on being tall when I was a kid.

Once the surgery was done to reattach the tendon, surprise, surprise, even standing with a walker I could stand up straight for the first time in years. I can walk without a limp now with crutches or a cane. I still have a limp without, but it's not completely healed inside now. That limp is going to go away.

What he did was to drill 4 holes in the trochanter, suture the living daylights out of the tendon, pass the sutures through the holes and fasten it down. He also put a zenigraft on the tendon to help thicken it and prevent adhesions. He scraped the surface of the trochanter to rough it up and make it bleed and pressed the end of the tendon down into the grooves to make it adhere.

I have to be very careful for at least 6 months - re-attaching tendon to bone is very difficult - and all my PT is absolutely without resistance of any kind. No weights, no stretchy bands.

I did years of PT. It was worthless with the tendon ripped off. I was called a malingerer and/or told I wasn't working hard enough because there was absolutely no progress. Well, you can't build up strength in something that is not attached. I had also torn the gluteus medius muscle that the tendon is attached to.

Since the surgery, even with relatively mild exercises in PT, I can feel my strength growing every day. Each day in PT is progress now, where I never had progress before.

Cortisone and PT are NOT the answer. The big problem is finding someone who can make a proper diagnosis and then finding someone who can do the repair. It seems that a hip replacement specialist is the best bet. They are most familiar with the structures in the hip, and it turns out that some of the repairs my doc had made - and probably other hip replacement specialists too - were found serendipitously when they went in to replace a hip and found the tendon torn off. They just replaced it and probably never wrote it up or anything because they may have just assumed it was part of the general hip problem.

Apr. 15, 2010, 05:30 PM
Glad you are doing so much better, Tiki! Thank you for sharing all that info. It will help the rest of us, too.

Apr. 15, 2010, 10:12 PM
I hope so. This is a difficult diagnosis - i.e. difficult in the fact that it's difficult to get most docs to even believe it could happen or that it could be repaired.

I'm slowly getting a little stronger every day, although with some strength issues - but I'm only not quite 3 months post surgery. The Surgeon said it would probably be 6 months to heal and really start to feel stronger and a year before I could really push myself without fear of re-tearing the repaired tendon. Bone to bone is easy to heal, muscle to muscle is easy to heal, tendon to bone is probably the most difficult and takes the most time and I'm not taking ANY chances.

Apr. 15, 2010, 10:15 PM
HHH, no, shockwave therapy wasn't recommended. Once the tendon is torn off the bone, there is NO WAY to heal it except surgery to tack it back on. You can't heal or strengthen something that isn't attached. If the tear in your horse isn't complete, maybe it will work. The surgeon told me after surgery that there was a hole on the trochanter about 1 ince square where the tendon was supposed to be attached.

Apr. 15, 2010, 10:46 PM
I have sent you 2 p.m.s with the info you wanted. Have you gotten them?

Dec. 3, 2010, 12:38 PM
Hi, I also had a rupture of my gluteus minimus and had arthroscopic repair two+ weeks ago. I am having less pain, but still having pain down the outside of my leg. It is still difficult to lie on either side. What is the time frame, in your experience, of becoming pain free? Thanks, Glee in Calif.

Carol Fontaine
Jun. 6, 2012, 05:00 PM
Hi Tiki,
I'm glad to hear you are recovering so well from your reattachment of the gluteus minimus tendon. I, too have torn both the gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius tendons off my right hip. Doctors at first insisted it was my back; then bursitis, etc. Finally an MRI showed the complete tears. But I'm 67 years old and since the tendons were torn off about a year and a half ago, doctors don't recommend surgery. I live in St. Petersburg, FL. Do you know any doctors in this area that would attempt surgery on me?
Carol Fontaine

Apr. 5, 2014, 01:34 AM
I know this is old thread but just wanted to say Dr SCOPP in Salisbury MD fixed my torn gluteus medius that was peeling off the bone. It's been 7 or 8 weeks now and the difference is amazing. On the 3rd day after surgery I realized all of my pre-surgery pain was 100% gone! No more ache, throbbing, constant pain. Surgery pain itself took six weeks to really feel better and not have to be so careful. Crutches for six weeks. PT is very important and slow progression to keep the repair safe. I can walk up a flight of steps with no pain. I have aches from working out in PT, but my pain in that hip is gone, I feel fabulous!
I suffered for 20 years, being told it was bursitis, had numerous injections of cortisone, 8 weeks of PT torture on the torn muscle, it just got worse. Finally found the right surgeon at Peninsula Orthopedics, Dr Scopp ordered MRI which showed torn muscle, frayed labrum cartilage, horrid bursitis and it was all repaired in one surgery! Bursa taken out, labrum cartilage cleaned up, anchors put into greater trochanter to reattach the gluteus muscle.
I'm fabulous! Now in two months I go back to get other hip fixed. Can't wait. After that, I'll be able to do whatever I want.

Get the surgery done arthroscopic. Not sure who to see? Come see Dr Scopp in Salisbury MD. He's awesome and right now, he's my newest hero.

Since this surgery is becoming more well known, I expect people will not have to suffer as long as I did before getting the proper diagnosis and surgery. I have no pain at all in my operated hip. It's the other one that's driving me crazy! But soon that will be repaired also.
Good luck!

Apr. 8, 2014, 05:30 AM
I'll add in my surgeon's name as a resource just in case someone comes looking for help: Dr. Chris Wahl. He had moved down to San Diego after my surgery.

I was bucked off and landed on the 2" wide arena wall, which severed the tendon 85%. I didn't go to the Dr. about it for a couple years, when I found out that it had calcified in an attempt to heal itself. Being something of an over-achiever, it went on to grow new bone there until it formed a 5" section of femur, complete with marrow cavity. Unfortunately the surface of the bone was rough and covered with hooks and points, so it was really painful when the muscle moved over the bone. Dr. Wahl removed the extra piece of bone and put in a suture anchor, fixing the important structures down to the normal femur. I woke up after surgery and said "it doesn't hurt anymore!", and though they thought it would hurt after the drugs wore off, it never hurt again. Rehab was a piece of cake compared to the PT I did with that crappy bone in there.