Treatment of Gluteal Tendinopathy: A Systematic Review and Stage-Adjusted Treatment Recommendation

Journal Paper/Review - Jul 29, 2021


Ladurner A, Fitzpatrick J, O'Donnell J. Treatment of Gluteal Tendinopathy: A Systematic Review and Stage-Adjusted Treatment Recommendation. Orthop J Sports Med 2021; 9:23259671211016850.
Journal Paper/Review (English)
Orthop J Sports Med 2021; 9
Publication Date
Jul 29, 2021
Issn Print
Issn Electronic
Brief description/objective

Gluteal tendinopathy is the most common lower limb tendinopathy. It presents with varying severity but may cause debilitating lateral hip pain.

To review the therapeutic options for different stages of gluteal tendinopathy, to highlight gaps within the existing evidence, and to provide guidelines for a stage-adjusted therapy for gluteal tendinopathy.

Study Design
Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.

We screened Scopus, Embase, Web of Science, PubMed, PubMed Central, Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, UpToDate, and Google Scholar databases and databases for grey literature. Patient selection, diagnostic criteria, type and effect of a therapeutic intervention, details regarding aftercare, outcome assessments, complications of the treatment, follow-up, and conclusion of the authors were recorded. An assessment of study methodological quality (type of study, level of evidence) was also performed. Statistical analysis was descriptive. Data from multiple studies were combined if they were obtained from a single patient population. Weighted mean and range calculations were performed.

A total of 27 studies (6 randomized controlled trials) with 1103 patients (1106 hips) were included. The mean age was 53.7 years (range, 17-88 years), and the mean body mass index was 28.3. The ratio of female to male patients was 7:1. Radiological confirmation of the diagnosis was most commonly obtained using magnetic resonance imaging. Reported treatment methods were physical therapy/exercise; injections (corticosteroids, platelet-rich plasma, autologous tenocytes) with or without needle tenotomy/tendon fenestration; shockwave therapy; therapeutic ultrasound; and surgical procedures such as bursectomy, iliotibial band release, and endoscopic or open tendon repair (with or without tendon augmentation).

There was good evidence for using platelet-rich plasma in grades 1 and 2 tendinopathy. Shockwave therapy, exercise, and corticosteroids showed good outcomes, but the effect of corticosteroids was short term. Bursectomy with or without iliotibial band release was a valuable treatment option in grades 1 and 2 tendinopathy. Insufficient evidence was available to provide guidelines for the treatment of partial-thickness tears. There was low-level evidence to support surgical repair for grades 3 (partial-thickness tears) and 4 (full-thickness tears) tendinopathy. Fatty degeneration, atrophy, and retraction can impair surgical repair, while their effect on patient outcomes remains controversial.