Dissection of gluteus maximus and medius with respect to their suggested roles in pelvic and hip stability: implications for rehabilitation?

M. Conneely, K. O'Sullivan and S. Edmondston.

Gluteal muscle dysfunction has been implicated in a variety of pelvic and lower limb injuries and rehabilitation programs often target this area.  The study examined the anatomy of gluteus maximus and gluteus medius with respect to their reported role in hip stability.  One adult cadaver was dissected.  The results showed that their were major differences in muscle size and fibre orientation within and between the muscles.  Gluteus maximus was strongly connected to the iliotibial band.  The insertion of gluteus medius enveloped the greater trochanter.  The insertion and orientation of the gluteus medius supported its suggested primary role as a hip stabiliser and abductor.  The posterior horizontal fibres suggested that it may also be important in controlling femoral rotation.  The authors concluded that the synergistic activation of these muscles rather than isolated activation of one muscle should be an important consideration in the assessment and rehabilitation of hip stability.

Physical Therapy in Sport, 7(4), Nov 2006, 176-178

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