Levator Ani Muscle Tear

Hello - new to the group and have been dealing with a torn levator ani muscle (complete tear) from an attempted forceps delivery which went undiagnosed for 2.5 years. I had a portion of it surgically repaired about 3 months ago and am still recovering slowly.

Does anyone have what I have? If so what are you finding is working for pain management.

19 Replies

  • I have both levatorns torn upfront from forceps. I did not know they could be stitched back. Who did it for you?

  • Hello - I'm so sorry. I know how painful it can be. I had my surgery done by a doctor in Calgary, Alberta Canada. I was not promised anything going into the surgery. They predicted that I could come out worse, or possibly see a maximum 20% improvement to my condition. It has helped a little, however it's only been about 4 months now. The surgery was awful, and the recovery was so very painful. But I'm willing to try anything to get at least a bit more mobility and freedom from this condition. I can keep you posted on my recovery. I go to physiotherapy and am working hard at strengthening the other muscles in that area.

  • I hope you get better! I would die to have my levators reattached but I was told that this is not possible. Please send me a private message with the name of the doctor, may be I will go and see him some day.

  • Hi failedsuegery,

    I suppose I could ask the same question of you that I asked of Treens. How were the tears in your levator ani muscle diagnosed? Any specific MRI protocol?

    I don't want to do another MRI only to be disappointed so would be nice to know if the doctor should follow any specific protocol. He means well but he's not sure how it would be diagnosed. On the req he specified that he wants the levator ani muscle looked at and assessed.



  • levator ani tear is easily diagnosed on regular MRI; the radiologist should know what to look for; I contacted Vittorio Piloni, radiologist in Italy and mailed him the MRI disc; he has special interests in the subject; it is kind of useless to diagnose it though since it can not be repaired

  • I will look him up and send him my MRI. At the very least, I'll have a diagnosis. Thus far, nobody has diagnosed anything. Which is the most frustrating part. So, what are your treatment options? Also, I haven't been able to find any consistent or obvious tell tale signs or symptoms that one has levator ani muscle tears. Are there any?

  • I doubt you have levator tear; it is caused by the obstetricians pulling the baby brutally out through the pelvis; if you are a guy would be unheard of, unless you have some very bad trauma like motor vehicle accident?

  • I hope not. That's such a terrible thing to go through, I am really sorry it happened to you. The only reason I suspected a tear was because doctor put me on two week course Cipro and told me to take strong, oral laxative to get rid of a blockage in the colon. That night I just could not move my bowels. I was pushing and straining like I never have And I was in excruciating pain. I ended up in the ER the next day and they said I had prostatitis and sent me on my way with another script for Cipro. Since that night, my life has gone downhill.

  • Sorry to hear that. If you are very desperate you can go to Dr. Piloni, radiologist, he does MR defecography, I went to his office in Rome, was 187 euro, amazing doctor, amazing service' follow his recommendations for treatment too; he is part of a major Italian pelvic floor network that includes radioligsts, gastroenterologists and surgeons; I live in USA and there is nothing here that even remotely matches his skill, knowledge and expertise

  • Thanks,'I'll look him up. I'll see how this MRI goes and hopefully it shows something or at least rules out a tear of some kind. This tears can happen anywhere right or would they always affect the pubic symphysis? Would you know?

  • I read a lot... the levator always tears off the symphisis first, more rarely from the entire pelvic bone. I am not a specialist. Right after the delivery my rectum dropped down towards my knees, also went straight, as before was at an angle. Do you feel something similar?

  • I private messaged you. Hope you don't mind.

  • I'm glad you were able to see somebody and learn about this dr. I know that it would be different for everybody but can you share some of the recommendations for treatment that were made to you by the doctors in Rome ?

  • It is weird. Apparently the front part of the levator tears off the bone and the rear part hypertrophies to compensate and obstructs the rectum; but I also have descending perineum and can not lift my pelvic floor. He said to do physical therapy and relax this part of the levator that is still left; he strongly advised me against all the surgeries that I did and he was so right

  • Hi Treens,

    I believe you said your tear was diagnosed via MRI. Was there any specific protocol used? Was it a special MRI? My doctor just requested a Pelvic MRI with assessment of the levator ani muscle. Was it obvious to find the tear on MRI? What are the symptoms of a tear in this muscle? I am trying to see if my symptoms correspond. I have had multiple pelvic MRIs done and none of them noted a tear of the levator ani muscle. This time, the doctor is specifically asking the radiologist to look at that muscle.



  • I had a gaping hole on the right side where the levator was torn. It was clear on the mri and as a female easy for the right person to diagnose it with a pelvic exam. It took about 8 docs though before one noticed the problem.

    Problems include sacroiliac pain , difficult to sit especially on a hard Surface, feeling tissue and other bulge through the hole created from the levator not being there, pain in glutes and upper hamstring.

    The doc showed me my MRI and even I could make sense of the tear. I have issues all and only on the right side. I don't know the protocol but I will see if I can find out more.

  • Thanks Treens. I have all the same symptoms. I find it traumatizing sitting on hard surfaces. I can sit but pain comes on after about 5-10 minutes. It's as if the bones are piercing through the tissue in the bum. I don't have any issues like icontinence. Isn't that a symptom??

    No one has reported on this on the 3 MRIs of the pelvis. I don't even know which doctor/area of medicine would perform surgery on it, if that did turn out to be the problem.

  • For me it was an OB/GYN and I think that you might have incontinence with this issue but not necessarily. I don't suffer from it very much but it's because I'm so in active because of pain if I could be active I'm sure that the incontinance would be there as a symptom during exercise for sure . I have an obus form Seat cushion that I roll up and take with me anytime I know there's going to be a hard surface like a wooden chair at a coffee shop or anything else.

  • I know what you mean, I cringe when I walk into a place and notice wooden chairs. I am a guy so wouldn't be seeing an obgyn. I had a 3T MRI and MRN in December. My doctor had specifically mentioned perineum pain in that one so I am assuming the radiologist would have looked at the levator ani muscle. It's the muscle directly in the perineum.

    This time, the doctor is specifically asking the radiologist to look at the levator ani muscle. He actually wrote that on the MRI requisition. I just hope the three MRIs I had done would have looked at it and ruled it out and it's not the cause of the problem. The problem is there are so many nerves, blood vessels, muscle in that part of the body so it's hard to determine cause.

    I Wonder if there are any men with a diagnosed tear of the levator ani on this forum.

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