Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research

, Volume 467, Issue 3, pp 799–804 | Cite as

Arthroscopic Gluteal Muscle Contracture Release With Radiofrequency Energy

  • Yu-Jie Liu
  • Yan Wang
  • Jing Xue
  • Pauline Po-Yee Lui
  • Kai-Ming ChanEmail author
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Gluteal muscle contracture is common after repeated intramuscular injections and sometimes is sufficiently debilitating to require open surgery. We asked whether arthroscopic release of gluteal muscle contracture using radiofrequency energy would decrease complications with clinically acceptable results. We retrospectively reviewed 108 patients with bilateral gluteal muscle contractures (57 males, 51 females; mean age, 23.7 years). We used inferior, anterosuperior, and posterosuperior portals. With the patient lying laterally, we developed and enlarged a potential space between the gluteal muscle group and the subcutaneous fat using blunt dissection. Under arthroscopic guidance through the inferior portal, we débrided and removed fatty tissue overlying the contractile band of the gluteal muscle group using a motorized shaver introduced through the superior portal. Radiofrequency then was introduced through the superior portal to gradually excise the contracted bands from superior to inferior. Finally, hemostasis was ensured using radiofrequency. Patients were followed a minimum of 7 months (mean, 17.4 months; range, 7–42 months). At last followup, the adduction and flexion ranges of the hip were 45.3° ± 8.7° and 110.2° ± 11.9°, compared with 10.4° ± 7.2° and 44.8° ± 14.1° before surgery. No hip abductor contracture recurred and no patient had residual hip pain or gluteal muscle wasting. We found gluteal muscle contracture could be released effectively with radiofrequency energy.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


Gluteal Muscle Radiofrequency Energy Gluteal Region Traditional Open Surgery Gluteal Muscle Contracture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the patients for participating in this study. We also are grateful to Dr. Mi Zhou, Dr. Zhi-Gand Wang, and Dr. Zhong-Li Li for help in data collection and for comments on the initial manuscript.

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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-Jie Liu
    • 1
  • Yan Wang
    • 1
  • Jing Xue
    • 1
  • Pauline Po-Yee Lui
    • 2
  • Kai-Ming Chan
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryGeneral Hospital of CPLABeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyThe Chinese University of Hong Kong ShatinHong Kong SAR, China

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