Muscle size and quality of the gluteal muscles and tensor fasciae latae in women with greater trochanteric pain syndrome

Review written by Dr Alison Grimaldi info

Key Points

  1. Females with greater trochanteric pain, without lumbar or hip joint-related symptoms, display signs of gluteal but not tensor fasciae latae (TFL) atrophy.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) is a clinical diagnosis used for pain in the region of the greater trochanter. Gluteal tendinopathy is the primary local soft tissue pathology associated with greater trochanteric pain, with less consistent changes in the adjacent bursae and iliotibial band (1).

Pain associated with these conditions is most commonly experienced by post-menopausal women, with substantial impact on quality of life (2). Studies assessing movement patterns in this patient group have identified frontal plane kinematic alterations (3) and associated abductor muscle weakness (4,5).

This study aimed to identify differences in size and fatty infiltration of the gluteal and tensor fasciae latae (TFL) muscles in women with GTPS, compared with a pain-free control group.

Gluteal tendinopathy is the primary local soft tissue pathology associated with greater trochanteric pain.
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This study confirms what we often observe clinically in patients with GTPS or gluteal tendinopathy – atrophy of the gluteal musculature but usually not the TFL.

METHODS

31 women in total were recruited for this study (16 with GTPS and 15 asymptomatic). Their age was similar (on average around 56 years), although the symptomatic group had higher BMI (30.1 vs 25.4 kg/m2).

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