Clinical Review

Hip and Core Muscle Injuries in Soccer

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TAKE-HOME POINTS

  • Groin injuries in soccer players can cause significant decreases in athletic performance, result in lost playing time, and may ultimately need surgical intervention.
  • Groin pain can be separated into 3 categories: (1) defined clinical entities for groin pain (adductor-related, iliopsoas-related, inguinal-related [sports hernias/athletic pubalgia], and pubic-related groin pain), (2) hip-related groin pain (hip morphologic abnormalities, labral tears, and chondral injuries), and (3) other causes of groin pain.
  • Acute groin pain in soccer players is most commonly caused by muscle strain involving the adductor longus, the iliopsoas or the rectus femoris.
  • Inguinal-related groin pain is a common cause of chronic groin pain and typically is the most challenging to treat with a complex pathophysiology and a high association with femoroacetabular impingement.
  • Hip-related groin pain (femoroacetabular impingement, labral tears, and chondral injuries) usually respond well to surgical intervention and has high rates of return to sport.


 

References

ABSTRACT

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and has the fourth highest number of sports injuries. Hip and groin injuries account for 14% of soccer injuries and can be difficult to recognize and treat as they often require a high level of suspicion and advanced imaging. Groin pain can be separated into 3 categories: (1) defined clinical entities for groin pain (adductor-related, iliopsoas-related, inguinal-related [sports hernias/athletic pubalgia], and pubic-related groin pain), (2) hip-related groin pain (hip morphologic abnormalities, labral tears, and chondral injuries), and (3) other causes of groin pain. Conservative approaches are typically the first line of treatment, but operative intervention has been reported to result in higher rates of return to sport in athletes with hip-related and inguinal-related groin pain injuries. In patients with concurrent hip-related and inguinal-related groin pain, the failure to recognize the relationship and treat both conditions may result in lower rates of return to sport. Preseason screening programs can identify high-risk athletes, who may benefit from a targeted prevention program. Further study on exercise therapy, early surgical intervention, and potential biologic intervention are needed to determine the most effective methods of preventing groin injuries in athletes.

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