Gluteal tendinopathy in refractory greater trochanter pain syndrome: diagnostic value of two clinical tests

Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Feb 15;59(2):241-6. doi: 10.1002/art.23354.


Objective: To evaluate the value (sensitivity and specificity) of 2 modified physical tests for the diagnosis of gluteal tendinopathy in patients with refractory greater trochanter pain syndrome (GTPS).

Methods: The 2 tests were prospectively evaluated by a single physician in all consecutive patients with persistent (> or =4 months) GTPS and no hip joint arthropathy seen on radiography between 2002 and 2006. The 2 tests evaluated the occurrence of pain similar to spontaneous pain during a single-leg stance held for 30 seconds and resisted external derotation in a supine position (hip flexed 90 degrees ) then prone position (hip extended). A matched control population without hip pain was examined similarly. Tendinitis, tendon tear, and associated bursitis in the target group were documented by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in transverse, coronal, and sagittal planes, with MRI serving as the gold standard.

Results: Seventeen patients completed the study (mean +/- SD age 68.1 +/- 10.8 years, mean duration of symptoms 13 months). MRI revealed tendinopathy and/or bursitis of the gluteus medius and/or minimus tendons in all patients, with evidence of tearing in 15. Sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 97.3%, respectively, for the single-leg stance test and 88% and 97.3%, respectively, for the resisted external derotation test in the supine position.

Conclusion: The 30-second single-leg stance and resisted external derotation tests had very good sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of tendinous lesion and bursitis in patients with MRI-documented refractory GTPS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bursitis / diagnosis
  • Buttocks*
  • Female
  • Femur*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Physical Examination / standards*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis*