The 'sports hernia': a common cause of groin pain

Phys Sportsmed. 1998 Jan;26(1):36-44. doi: 10.3810/psm.1998.01.968.


Athletes who participate in sports that require repetitive twisting and turning at speed, such as soccer or ice hockey, may be at risk of developing a 'sports hernia'-disruption of the inguinal canal without a clinically detectable hernia. Insidious onset of unilateral groin pain is the most common symptom. Concurrent pathologies, such as osteitis pubis and adductor tenoperiostitis, may complicate diagnosis. Plain radiographs and a bone scan can aid differential diagnosis, but herniography is not recommended. Surgery is the preferred treatment. Structured rehabilitation should enable athletes to return to sports activity 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.