Hips Procedures

Gluteal Tendon Reconstruction

This is a common condition in middle age.  It involves pain on the outside (or lateral) of the hip.

The condition is far more common in women than in men and is often exacerbated by lying on the affected side at night and leads to interrupted sleep and interruption to normal daily activities.

This syndrome has a number of names but Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome is a common one.

The exact anatomic cause of this pain is not often clear.

There can be:

  • inflamed bursae (bursitis),
  • tight tissues rubbing against bone,
  • referred pain from the spine and
  • tendon issues.


The condition can be associated with obesity.

As we age degenerative tears of tendons are not uncommon. For example a rotator cuff can tear with no specific trauma or damage. Because of this, this condition has been described as the “Rotator Cuff Syndrome of the Hip’.

Pain often exists for more than 1 year and may persist for up to 5 years.

Unfortunately no specific treatment has been shown to specifically alter these duration of symptoms. Many different treatments have been tried including physiotherapy and gait assessment, stretching and massage as well as corticosteroid and other injections with inconsistent results.

Surgery for this condition should always be considered as a last resort.

As the natural history of this condition is often extended over 12-18 months, no intervention should be considered before that time frame has expired. For those people who experience symptoms for greater than 2 years and have a MRI diagnosis of a complete tendon tear then surgery may be an option.

Surgery involves:

  • smoothing over of the area around the lateral aspect of the hip joint to release some of the tight tissues in the area, and then:
  • a reconstruction of the tendon attachment to the bone using a synthetic augmentation.


Most patients get good relief from this surgery if the above criteria are met.

Surgery is followed by a rigid post-operative rehabilitation protocol that will be discussed with you at time of consultation.

Dr Ellis is currently the only surgeon at OrthoNorth performing this operation.



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