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Eur Spine J. 2016 Apr;25(4):1282-8. doi: 10.1007/s00586-016-4440-5. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Decompression of the gluteus medius muscle as a new treatment for buttock pain: technical note.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Chiba Hokuso Hospital, Nippon Medical School, 1715, Kamagari, Inzai, Chiba, Japan.
Department of Neurosurgery, Kushiro Rosai Hospital, Hokkaido, Japan.
Department of Neurosurgery, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan.



The clinical features and etiology of low back pain and buttock pain remain poorly understood. We report ten patients with buttock pain who underwent gluteus medius muscle (GMeM) decompression under local anesthesia.


Between December 2012 and November 2013 we surgically treated ten patients (four men, six women; mean age 65.1 years) for buttock pain. The affected side was unilateral in seven and bilateral in three patients (total sites, n = 13). The interval from symptom onset to treatment averaged 174 months; the mean postoperative follow-up period was 24 months. Decompression of the tight gluteal aponeurosis over the GMeM was performed under local anesthesia. Assessment of the clinical outcomes was on the numeric rating scale (NRS) for low back pain (LBP), the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, and the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ) score before and at the latest follow-up after treatment.


There were no intraoperative surgery-related complications. The buttock pain of all patients was improved after surgery; their NRS decreased from 7.0 to 0.8 and JOA and RMDQ scores indicated significant improvement (p < 0.05).


In patients with buttock pain, pain around the GMeM should be considered as a causative factor. Less invasive surgery with cutting and opening of the tight gluteal aponeurosis over the GMeM under local anesthesia yielded excellent clinical outcomes.


Buttock pain; Decompression; Gluteal aponeurosis; Gluteus medius muscle; Less invasive surgery; Low back pain

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