Introduction: Hip abductor insufficiency is often associated with lateral hip pain, movement disorder and Trendelenburg gait. The aims of this study are to predict if preoperative radiological findings correlate with postoperative outcomes and if pre and postoperative radiological findings correlate with postoperative function.
Methods: Patients with clinical and MRI evidence of hip abductor tears that had failed to nonoperative treatment underwent surgical repair. Pre and postoperative MRI analysis was carried out by an experienced musculo-skeletal radiologist. Clinical analysis consisted of Harris Hip Score, a measure of patient satisfaction, pre and postoperative walking aids and Trendelenburg test.
Results: This study shows no real improvement in the MRI appearances of the tendons after surgery. Preoperative MRI absence of gluteus minimus was 100% predictive of a poor outcome, whilst thickening of the posterior gluteus medius was 83% predictive of a poor outcome. Postoperative MRI absence of posterior gluteus medius was 75% predictive of a poor outcome. Thickening of anterior gluteus medius and posterior gluteus medius were 71% and 83% predictive of a poor outcome respectively. Absence of posterior gluteus medius correlated with poor outcome in 75% of cases.
Discussion: The MRI appearance of the tendon does not normalise after surgery and there is limited correlation between the MRI appearances pre and postoperatively with the postoperative outcome.