Clinical assessment and treatment options for posterior hip pain

Joshua Ovadia*, Nathan Khabyeh-Hasbani, Eyal Amar, Ehud Rath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Diagnosis and treatment of posterior hip pain has increased due to advancements in clinical, anatomical, biomechanical, and related pathological understandings of the hip. Due to its complexity and close anatomical relationship with many osseous, neurovascular, and musculotendinous structures, posterior hip pain must be appropriately categorized based on its origin. Therefore, it is crucial that clinicians are able to determine whether patient complaints are of extra-articular or intra-articular nature so that they can implement the optimal treatment plan. In the current review article, we discussed posterior hip pain with an emphasis on the main differential diagnoses of deep gluteal syndrome, ischiofemoral impingement, and hamstring tear/hamstring syndrome. For the appropriate diagnosis and etiology of posterior hip pain, a thorough and conclusive clinical history is imperative. Physicians should rule out the possibility of spinal involvement by physical examination and if necessary, by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Furthermore, because of the vicinity to other, non-orthopedic structures, an obstetric and gynecologic history, general surgery history, and urologic history should be obtained. Following the collection of patient history clinicians should adhere to an established and efficient order of evaluation starting with standing then to seated, supine, lateral, and prone testing. Imaging assessment of posterior hip pain begins with a standard anterior-posterior pelvic radiograph, in addition to frog-leg lateral. MRI is pivotal for assessing soft tissue-related extra-articular causes of hip in patients with posterior hip pain. Non-surgical treatment is preferred in most cases of deep gluteal syndrome, ischiofemoral impingement, pudendal nerve entrapment, and proximal hamstring pathologies. Surgical treatment is saved as a last resort option in cases of failed non-surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Deep gluteal syndrome
  • Hamstring tear
  • Ischiofemoral impingement
  • Posterior hip pain


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