The gluteus medius muscle is essential for gait and hip stability. Changes that occur in the gluteus medius muscles in patients with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) are not well understood. A better understanding of DDH related changes will have positive repercussions toward hip soft tissue reconstruction.
19 adult patients with unilateral DDH scheduled for total hip arthroplasty were assessed for: cross-sectional area (CSA), radiological density (RD) and the length of gluteus medius using computed tomograhpy(CT) (scanned before THA). Hip abductor moment arm and gluteus medius activation angle were also measured via hip anteroposterior radiographs.
Both CSA and RD of gluteus medius muscle were significantly reduced (p<0.05) in the affected hip compared to the control. In the affected hip, the length of the gluteus medius muscle was reduced by 8-11% (p<0.05) while the gluteus medius activation angle was significantly increased (p<0.05) and the hip abductor moment arm was decreased (p<0.05).
The gluteus medius showed substantial loss of CSA, RD as well as decreased length in patients with DDH in the affected hip. These changes should be considered in both hip reconstruction and postoperative rehabilitation training in patients with DDH.