Gluteus Medius & Minimus Tear

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Gluteus Medius & Minimus Tear Overview

The gluteal muscles allow patients to engage in athletic activities such as jumping and running. Located in the outer buttocks, the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles work in unison to stabilize the pelvis, straighten the hip joint and assist with outer hip motions. A torn gluteus minimus or a gluteus medius tear can occur at its attachment site on the femur (thighbone) from aging, repetitive overuse or a traumatic injury. Dr. Jervis Yau, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California area orthopedic hip specialist, specializes in the treatment of gluteal muscle tears so patients can return to an active lifestyle.

There are two strong, broad muscles in the gluteal area, including:

  • Gluteus medius- Located at the outer hip portion
  • Gluteus minimus- Located immediately beneath the gluteus medius

Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus Tear Symptoms

Patients affected by tears in the gluteal muscles often experience pain and weakness in the outer hip and lower back, along with gait abnormalities. These symptoms may intensify with prolonged walking, standing and sitting. Patients may also experience pain over the lateral hip when lying on that side of the body.

Have you sustained a gluteus medius or gluteus minimus tear?

Schedule an office consultation with Dr. Yau today.


Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus Tear Diagnosis

Diagnosis of gluteal tendon tears involve a thorough history and physical examination along with MRI confirmation of the tear.  During the examination, Dr. Yau will perform a series of tests to determine lateral hip tenderness, pain level and hip muscle weakness.

  • Grade 1- Mild pain with little or no loss of mobility
  • Grade 2- Partial tear with mild pain and a noticeable loss in strength and flexibility
  • Grade 3- Complete tear with severe pain, complete loss of strength and limited mobility

Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus Tear Treatment


Many cases of a gluteus medius and gluteus minimus tears can be treated with non-operative measures. Dr. Yau commonly prescribes a combination of rest, ice, medications, activity modifications and physical therapy.


If the patient fails conservative treatment or has a complete tear, Dr. Yau commonly recommends surgical repair of the torn tendon in order to restore hip function. Although many of these tears can be repaired through a minimally invasive arthroscopic approach, Dr. Yau will make the determination based on the severity of tear.  Some more extensive tendon tears are better repaired through a traditional open repair.

For more information on injuries to the gluteal muscles, or to determine if you have experienced a gluteus medius tear or a torn gluteus minimus, please contact the orthopedic office of Dr. Jervis Yau, hip specialist located in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California communities.