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Causes of Hip Tendon Injuries

To understand how hip tendon tears occur, it is important to cover the basics of hip anatomy. In particular, the hip is kept stable by a strong band of muscles called the hip abductors. 

The hip abductor muscles include the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus, as well as the tensor fascia latae. These muscles are attached to the greater trochanter (the widest part of the hip, located at the top of the leg bone) by the hip abductor tendons, called the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius tendons. 

These tendons play a vital role in keeping the hip mobile and stabilizing the pelvis during walking.

Even though these tendons are powerful bands of elastic tissue able to withstand extraordinary loads, they are not always immune to injuries such as tears. Below, we’ll look at the most common causes of hip tendon tears.

Age-Related Degeneration of the Hip Tendon

Aging can cause progressive degeneration of the tendons, causing them to become weaker, less elastic, and unable to tolerate stress as well. This can make hip tendons more prone to injuries, such as tears. These injuries are often misinterpreted as other conditions such as trochanteric bursitis or trochanteric pain syndrome and accurate diagnosis is only possible via MRI scans.

Complications of Arthroplasty Surgery

Tears in the hip abductor tendons can be due to iatrogenic injury, often following hip arthroplasty (also known as hip replacement surgery). Iatrogenic injuries refer to damage to the tissue resulting from medically necessary treatments. This may happen because the tendons rub against the artificial replacements of parts of the hips, causing pain, inflammation, and damage such as tears.

Direct Trauma

Traumatic injuries, such as falling heavily on the hip or receiving a direct blow to the side of your body, may cause the tendons to stretch beyond capacity and result in tears. This may also happen after a strong pull of the leg.

Overuse and Excessive Stress

Overuse can accelerate the degeneration of the tendon tissue and make tears more likely. Activities that lead to overuse and excessive repeated stress include high-impact sports, such as tennis or soccer. 

Obesity (and the fact that the extra weight puts the hip bone under excessive stress) may also be a risk factor for tendinopathy, a condition that causes micro-tears in the tendons over time.

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Symptoms of Hip Tendon Injuries

Hip tendon tears are not among the most common conditions of the hip, but they may be painful and debilitating. What’s more, if left untreated, tendon tears can lead to the progressive degeneration of other components of the hip, reduced mobility, or more severe tendon tears. 

Below, we’ll look at the telltale signs you need to learn to recognize to seek adequate treatment for your condition.


Trochanteric pain (pain on the side of the hip) is one of the most common symptoms of hip tendon tears. These painful sensations may intensify during activities that involve the hip, which include running, walking, and climbing stairs. You may also experience pain when sitting or lying on the affected side of the hip. 

In the case of a severe tear, such as if the tendon becomes completely detached from the bone, you may experience excruciating pain at the time of injury, often accompanied by a “popping” sound. 

Weakness and Difficulty Bearing Weights

Tears in the hip abductor tendons may prevent the gluteus muscles from moving properly. This may lead to difficulty bearing weights and sensations of weakness in the leg and hip. If the tear isn’t addressed, the underuse of the gluteus muscles might cause the shrinking and weakening of the muscle mass. 

Reduced Leg Mobility 

Hip tendon tears prevent the tendons that enable abduction movements of the legs from working properly. These movements allow you to move the leg away from the midline of the body, such as during walking, running, climbing stairs, or stretching. In turn, you may experience a reduction in flexibility and range of motion.

Regenerative Treatment Options for Hip Tendon Tears

Hip tendon tears are often a misdiagnosed condition that can lead to chronic and debilitating pain. In most cases, patients are recommended to use pain-relieving medications to deal with the symptoms of tendon tears, but severe tears of the hip tendons may require surgery. 

Unfortunately, surgical procedures that aim to reconstruct damaged tendons are not reliable and lead to varying results, leaving patients to deal with severe side effects and often months of rehabilitation. 

Fortunately, regenerative orthopedic approaches that use precisely placed platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and/or bone marrow concentrate (BMC) injections are now available as non-surgical treatment option. Below, we’ll look at the regenerative treatment options used in combination at Orthagenex to help patients with hip tendon tears improve their hip mobility and function.

Super-Concentrated PRP for Hip Tendon Tears

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) refers to autologous blood samples that have been processed to have platelet concentrations that are 10-40 times higher than baseline levels. The use of PRP in regenerative medicine has received significant interest, due to its ability to deliver high concentrations of growth factors precisely and non-invasively to an area in need.

PRP procedures involve injecting the body’s own healing factors (platelets) into the injured tissue using image guidance with fluoroscopy and MSK ultrasound. This procedure can be used to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions, including joint instability, minor arthritis, ligament, and tendon injuries, and strains.

More than 30 randomized controlled trials have been carried out on the effectiveness of PRP to support the body’s ability to heal naturally by stimulating the stem cells within the targeted area. In the case of hip tendon tears, reviews have shown that PRP treatments can improve the native functionalities of the hip joint.

Bone Marrow Concentrate Stem Cell Injections for Hip Tendon Tears

Stem cells are an essential component of the human body and play an important role in the repair of injured bones, ligaments, tendons, and other tissues. However, when we age or suffer an injury, the body may become unable to deliver enough stem cells to the area in need.

To help with this, bone marrow concentrate procedures at Orthagenex use imaging guidance to deliver concentrated bone marrow containing stem cells to the area in need. This encourages the body’s inherent ability to heal itself by replenishing the stem cell population in the injured area.

In practice, bone marrow concentrate procedures are carried out by cannulating the bone near the pelvis with a trocar, a sharp-tipped device. This provides a narrow tunnel that can be used to collect samples of the bone marrow’s liquid component, which is rich in stem cells.

BMC procedures can assist patients in improving their hip health and mobility without the lengthy and painful rehabilitation periods associated with surgery.

Skip the Hip Pain. Treat Your Hip Injury with Orthagenex. 

Hip tendon tears can lead to debilitating pain that intensifies as the year progresses. Fortunately, undergoing surgery or taking pain medications to manage the symptoms of your condition are no longer the only options available. 

Thanks to the personalized and researched-back treatment options at Orthagenex, you can support the healing of your hip tendons and improve your hip function without surgery. 

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