What Is The Hip Abductor?
The hip abductor is a group of muscles, similar to the rotator cuff in the shoulder, that allow the pelvis to remain level with the ground as we walk. It also helps stabilize the hip joint during movement, and is extremely important in the normal movement and functioning of the hip joint.
How Does The Abductor Tear?
Most abductor tears occur through overused and chronic inflammation and tendonitis of the abductor tendon. On rare occasion, a fall or traumatic even can case an acute hip abductor tear or injury.
What Are Some Symptoms Of An Abductor Tear?
Pain over the lateral (outside) side of the hip that is worse with weight bearing and walking is typical. The pain can be worsened with pressure over the area.
How Do I Know If I Have An Abductor Tear?
Most cases of abductor tears are mistaken as bursitis over the “trochanter” – the bony part of the hip that you can feel on the outside of your hip. The only way to identify an abductor tear is with an MRI; however, it is important to get plain xrays first to evaluate for arthritis and other abnormalities of the hip.
How Are Abductor Tears Treated?
Depending on the sized of the tear, it can be repaired arthroscopically through 2-3 small (1cm) incisions, or, if warranted, through an open incision over the hip. The tear is identified and it is fixed back to bone using specialized suturing tools and suture anchors.
What Is Recovery Like?
Recovery can be prolonged after an abductor tear, and most patients will require the use of an abductor brace (large brace over the thigh and pelvis) for the first 4-6 weeks. Return to most activities can be expected by 6 months.