Prevalence and etiological factors of sport-related groin injuries in top-level soccer compared to non-contact sports

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2011 Feb;131(2):261-6. doi: 10.1007/s00402-010-1169-1. Epub 2010 Aug 17.


Purpose: Groin injuries and chronic pain are relatively common in soccer and other contact sports. Our aim was to define the gender-related frequency of both acute and chronic groin injuries in soccer compared to non-contact endurance sports.

Methods: A 12-month study of 613 professional athletes was conducted in 2006. Premier league soccer players (77 males and 90 females) answered retrospectively 70 multi-choice questions of sport injuries. Factors related to groin injuries were compared with corresponding data of elite-level swimmers (n = 154), long-distance runners (n = 143) and cross-country skiers (n = 149).

Results: In soccer, 125/167 players had 375 injuries (274 acute and 101 overuse injuries) and the number of acute injuries were 146/274 (53%) in males and 128/274 (47%) in females (p = 0.368). Acute groin injury was reported in 15/167 (9.0%) of elite soccer players compared to 3/154 (2.0%) in swimmers (p = 0.006) and 1.4% in both long-distance running (n = 2) and skiing (n = 2, p = 0.003). Male soccer players had acute groin injuries nearly three times more frequently than females. Chronic persistent groin pain was found in only one male and two female soccer players and no athletes in endurance sports.

Conclusions: Almost every tenth soccer player had an acute groin injury. Long-standing groin pain was not frequent in soccer and it was not found in non-contact endurance sport at the elite-level.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Female
  • Groin / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Young Adult