Recommendations in the rehabilitation of patients undergoing hip abductor tendon repair: a systematic literature search and evidence based rehabilitation protocol

Jay R. Ebert, Angela M. Fearon, Paul N. Smith, Gregory C. Janes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Advanced hip imaging and surgical findings have demonstrated that a common cause of greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) is hip abductor tendon (HAT) tears. Traditionally, these patients have been managed non-operatively, often with temporary pain relief. More recently, there has been an increase in published work presenting the results of surgical intervention. A variety of open and endoscopic transtendinous, transosseous and/or bone anchored suture surgical techniques have been reported, with and without the use of tendon augmentation for repair reinforcement. While patient outcomes have demonstrated improvements in pain, symptoms and function, post-operative rehabilitation guidelines are often vague and underreported, providing no guidance to therapists. Materials and methods: A systematic search of the literature was initially undertaken to identify published clinical studies on patients undergoing HAT repair, over a 3-year period up until May 2020. Following the application of strict inclusion and exclusion criteria, studies were identified and the detail relevant to rehabilitation was synthesized and presented. Published detail was combined with the authors clinical experience, with a detailed overview of rehabilitation proposed for this patient cohort. Results: A total of 17 studies were included, reporting varied detail on components of rehabilitation including post-operative weight bearing (WB) restrictions, the initiation of passive/active hip range of motion (ROM) and resistance exercises. A detailed rehabilitation guide is proposed. Conclusion: In combining the current published literature on rehabilitation after HAT repair and our own clinical experience in the surgical management and post-operative rehabilitation of these patients, we present an evidence-based, structured rehabilitation protocol to better assist surgeons and therapists in treating these patients. This rehabilitation protocol has been implemented for several years through our institutions with encouraging published clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3165-3182
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 May 2021


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