The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of 10 clinical tests that can be used in the diagnosis of greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) in women, and to compare these clinical tests to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.
Twenty-eight participants with GTPS (49.5 ± 22.0 years) and 18 asymptomatic participants (mean age ± standard deviation [SD], 52.5 ± 22.8 years) were included. A blinded physiotherapist performed 10 pain provocation tests potentially diagnostic for GTPS-palpation of the greater trochanter, resisted external derotation test, modified resisted external derotation test, standard and modified Ober’s tests, Patrick’s or FABER test, resisted hip abduction, single-leg stance test, and the resisted hip internal rotation test. A sample of 16 symptomatic and 17 asymptomatic women undertook a hip MRI scan. Gluteal tendons were evaluated and categorized as no pathology, mild tendinosis, moderate tendinosis/partial tear, or full-thickness tear.
Clinical test analyses show high specificity, high positive predictive value, low to moderate sensitivity, and negative predictive value for most clinical tests. All symptomatic and 88% of asymptomatic participants had pathological gluteal tendon changes on MRI, from mild tendinosis to full-thickness tear. The study found the Patrick’s or FABER test, palpation of the greater trochanter, resisted hip abduction, and the resisted external derotation test to have the highest diagnostic test accuracy for GTPS. Tendon pathology on MRI is seen in both symptomatic and asymptomatic women.