Objectives: To obtain information on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of hip rotator cuff tears by French orthopedic surgeons.
Methods: Survey conducted in 2003 by mailing questionnaires to 459 orthopedic surgeons practicing in France.
Results: Of the 84 respondents, 38 (45%) were not aware that tears could occur in the hip rotator cuff and 11 (13%) had never suspected this diagnosis in any of their patients. The 35 (42%) remaining surgeons had experience with at least one case of gluteal tendon repair; among them, 24 (29%) made the diagnosis fortuitously during surgery for another reason (total hip arthroplasty). Only 11 (13%) surgeons had performed surgery to treat gluteal tendon tears that were diagnosed preoperatively (gluteus medius in 20 cases, gluteus maximus in six cases, and gluteus minimus in three cases; total, 29 cases). Of these 29 cases, only 14 were treated by surgical tendon repair (by six [7%] surgeons); the remaining repair procedures were done during total hip arthroplasty. The retrospective data collection procedure and absence of medium-term follow-up data preclude conclusions about the outcomes of surgical treatment.
Conclusion: Gluteal tendon tears may be underrecognized by orthopedic surgeons in France, who may have limited experience with repairing these lesions. Autopsy and imaging studies have shown gluteal tendon tears in up to 10% of individuals older than 60 years.