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groin strain
Season 2010/11

Inside the injury: Groin strain

  • 18 February 2011 12:14
  • Posted by David Clayton

Club doctor Jamie Butler takes us inside some of the most common injuries sustained by players by explaining how they occur, why and more importantly, how they can be avoided.

A groin strain is a relatively common injury in football because of the running and kicking nature of the game. The groin is the area below the abdomen around the anterior hip joint and pubic area.

Within this area injury can occur to muscles, ligaments, tendons and the pubic bone. A pubic bone condition known as osteitis pubis is common in footballers and can prompt a long time away from the sport.

The common groin strain is actually a tear in one of the muscles/tendons in the groin. This is typically the adductor (inner thigh ) muscles. The player will describe a tearing pain in the upper inner thigh with pain felt on moving the leg in certain positions.

With any diagnosis it is important to rule out other conditions such as osteitis pubis, ligament injury, other muscle injury, hip joint problems or even an inguinal hernia. As such the examination performed looks to rule theses conditions out and focus on the likely musculotendinous tear. Ultrasound is a good tool for this.

Treatment involves ice and compression initially for the musculotendinous tear and then a period of rehabilitation and treatment before playing and training again.

If there has been a large grade 3 tear sometimes surgery is required to suture the muscle and tendon back together or reimplant the tendon attachment onto the pubic bone.

If a player has osteitis pubis a long rehabilitation programme is required and if there is a hernia, an operation is usually required.

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