Spectrum of MRI findings in clinical athletic pubalgia

Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2008 Mar;12(1):3-12. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1067933.


Athletic pubalgia is a frequently encountered syndrome for clinicians who treat active patients participating in a wide variety of athletic endeavors worldwide. Pathologies associated with this clinical scenario span anatomically from the pubic symphysis to the hip and include a myriad of poorly understood and incompletely described musculoskeletal entities, many of which are centered about the pubic symphysis and its tendinous attachments. In this article, we discuss the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology for the most frequently encountered of these disorders, using magnetic resonance (MR) images as a guide. We describe an MR imaging protocol tailored to clinical athletic pubalgia. We then review reproducible MRI patterns of pathology about the pubic symphysis, the rectus abdominis/adductor aponeurosis and the inguinal ring, as well as a group of clinically confounding entities remote from the symphysis but visible by MRI.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Contrast Media
  • Fractures, Stress / diagnosis
  • Groin*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries*
  • Osteitis / diagnosis
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pubic Symphysis / injuries*
  • Sprains and Strains / diagnosis


  • Contrast Media