The effect of hip abductor weakness in different patient populations
Jonas, Margaret Elizabeth
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The Gluteus Medius and the Tensor Fascia Lata are two of the main muscles involved in the action of hip abduction. This action is important for both dynamic movements in athletic pursuits and in every day ambulation. Weakness in these muscles has been connected to multiple injuries in the lower limb, but the question of the casual relationship between gait change, hip abductor weakness, and lower limb injury is still up for debate. As presented by the current research, younger populations tend to have overuse injuries with females having a greater susceptibility for injuries connected to hip abductor weakness, and older populations tend to have injures related to atrophy and degeneration of either the hip abductor muscles or the joint surrounding the hip. Research in this field has increasingly focused on sub-sets of the populations, such as just females or just males, trying to pinpoint the role that hip abductor weakness plays in these injuries. By trying to minimize or even eliminate the confounding variables that have previously made it difficult to determine the role hip abductor weakness plays in these gait changes and injuries, these studies have been able to make more clear conclusions at the expense of making a broader generalization. Similarities and differences between how the sub-groups present with hip abductor weakness are discussed, as well as discrepancies observed within the research done on similar cohorts. Future directions for research in this field are discussed, as well as implications for clinical implementation of targeted rehabilitation programs to ensure the best possible outcomes.
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