The gluteus medius is one of the key muscles surrounding the hip. This muscle stretches from the buttock to the side of the hip, playing an important role in stabilisation of the joint and allowing us to lift the leg outwards to the side. Injury or tears of the gluteus medius often occurs at the tendonous attachment to the greater trochanter of the femur bone and may cause pain that mimics trochanteric bursitis or greater trochanteric pain syndrome.


Gluteus medius tears are commonly caused by sports injuries, trauma or overuse of the gluteus muscle. These injuries are common for runners, athletes, those who play high-impact sports or those who have poor flexibility of the gluteus muscle. Leg discrepancies may also cause damage to the gluteus medius muscle. In addition, degenerative conditions and repetitive movements of the hips and legs changes may also lead to the tearing of the gluteus medius.


Gluteus medius tears usually cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain at the side of the hip
  • Pain in the buttock
  • Tenderness in the lateral hip
  • Inability to lift the leg to the side
  • Inability to bear weight on the affected leg
  • Redness, swelling and warmth in the buttock due to inflammation

Since partial tears and injuries to the gluteus medius may only get progressively worse, leading to a complete tear, it is important to seek treatment from an orthopaedic surgeon if you experience these symptoms.


Non-surgical treatment of a partial gluteus tear may involve reducing inflammation through rest, crutches and anti-inflammatory medications. Pain medications may also be prescribed. Physical therapy may also be beneficial to regain the strength and flexibility of the hip joint after this kind of minor injury. For those with severe pain, injections of corticosteroids may be necessary to relieve inflammation and pain in the muscle.

When there is a complete tear, open or arthroscopic surgery may be needed to repair or reattach the torn tendon, restoring the strength and functioning of gluteus medius muscle.