Gluteus Minimus Pain & Tear: Symptoms & Treatment

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Adductor Muscle Pain, Strains & Tears

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Gluteus Minimus Injury
  • 0:42 Causes and Symptoms
  • 1:43 Diagnostics
  • 2:29 Treatment
  • 3:36 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Alexandra Unfried

Alexandra earned her master's degree in nursing education and is currently a hospital supervisor/administrator.

Four major muscles are located in the outer gluteal region of the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fascia lata. This lesson discusses gluteus minimus pain and tears, and the symptoms and treatment of those.

Gluteus Minimus Injury

A young runner, Sarah, has been training for a triathlon. She has been practicing different drills where she moves from side to side. After practice, she notices a stabbing pain in the side of her left hip. She can't walk without limping, and the pain is constant. She makes an appointment with her doctor to find out what has happened.

The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the muscles in the outer gluteal region. It is located below the gluteus medius. The muscle essentially attaches the hip bone to the upper leg. The main functions of the gluteus minimus are to move the legs to the side (abduction) and rotate the hips inward.

Causes and Symptoms

Tears to the gluteus minimus are usually caused by general overuse. In Sarah's case, she overtrained and tore the muscle. Other activities that can cause injury are:

  • Sitting for long periods of time with your legs crossed
  • Carrying heavy objects
  • Applying pressure to one hip by leaning to one side while standing

Pain in the outside of the hip and buttock is usually the first symptom of injury or tear to the gluteus minimus. However, other symptoms include pain in the back and outside of the thigh, pain that runs down the calf to the ankle, and numbness along the affected leg. You could feel discomfort during movements such as walking, standing up from a seated position, crossing your legs, and laying on the affected side. When Sarah went to see her doctor, she reported symptoms of limping, constant stabbing pain, tenderness when lying on her left side, occasional numbness, and being unable to comfortably cross her legs. Ouch!

Diagnostics

The doctor completed an exam on Sarah's left hip and noticed she had bruising as well as tenderness when he applied pressure. He also checked her for a Trendelenburg sign, which was positive. Usually when a person stands on one foot, both hips will remain even. With a positive Trendelenburg sign, when a person stands on the affected leg, the other side of the hip will drop down or backwards and the person becomes unstable. This means that there is weakness or injury to one of the gluteal muscles and requires further testing to determine which one. An ultrasound, X-ray, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is helpful in determining the cause of the problems. For Sarah, an MRI was done, and a small tear to the gluteus minimus was seen. There was also swelling.

Example of Trendelenburg sign. Positive sign is on the left and negative sign is on the right.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support