DEEP GLUTEAL SPACE SYNDROME
The deep gluteal space is located in the buttocks region. Multiple muscles, tendons, and nerves reside in the deep gluteal space and can be irritated or injured. Muscles and tendons that are commonly affected include the piriformis and obturator internus. Some people have limited space between the pelvis and femur bone; this condition (ilio-ischial impingement) can cause pinching of the obturator internus tendon, leading to symptoms such as pain. Irritation to the sciatic nerve or pudendal nerve (a nerve that resides adjacent to the groin) may also cause deep gluteal space syndrome.
- Pinching discomfort in the buttocks
- Intermittent numbness, tingling, or burning in the buttocks that radiates toward the knee
Diagnosis And Treatment
Dr. Welch considers each patient’s symptoms, as well as a detailed physical examination, x-rays, and sometimes an MRI or a CT scan of the hip and pelvis to make the diagnosis of deep gluteal space syndrome.
In most patients with deep gluteal space syndrome, non-surgical treatment with physical therapy is usually helpful. The physical therapy program focuses on deep tissue massage, ultrasound, muscle stimulation, range of motion of the hip, as well as strengthening core and hip muscles around the hip joint. Non-surgical treatment also includes activity modification, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroid or anesthetic injections.