The gluteus medius muscle is partially covered on its lower third part by the gluteus maximus muscle, which makes up what is commonly referred to as the buttocks. The muscle works to provide rotation of the thigh outward from the center of the body to facilitate a normal walking gait. It attaches to the leg at the top of the femur close to the hip joint on a bony prominence called the greater trochanter. The greater trochanter is a ridge on the femur bone. The muscle attaches at the other end on the ilium, which is part of the big pelvic bone. Weakness in the muscle, nerve damage, or problems with the muscle or structures where it is attached can cause a limp to develop such as the Trendelenburg gait. The greater trochanter of the femur where the gluteus medius muscle attaches has a bursa sac of fluid that normally protects the bony protrusion. It can become inflamed and cause pain in the hip area. Treatment of inflammation in this area of the muscle usually involves stretching, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cortisone injections.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Gluteus medius