Adductor tenotomy as a treatment for groin pain in professional soccer players

Orthopedics. 2013 Sep;36(9):e1189-97. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20130821-23.


Chronic, exercise-related groin pain is a debilitating condition. Nonoperative treatment has limited efficacy, but surgical intervention on the adductor-abdomino complex may be used to alleviate symptoms and allow return to play (RTP). The purpose of this study was to report the outcome of adductor tenotomy and hernioplasty for professional soccer players with groin pain. Between 2000 and 2006, a total of 155 professional and recreational soccer players with recalcitrant groin pain (with or without lower abdominal pain) and resistance to conservative treatment were included in this retrospective analysis. Ninety-six patients were treated with adductor tenotomy and 59 patients were treated with combined adductor tenotomy and hernioplasty. No difference in pre- or postoperative parameters was detected between groups, apart from abdominal wall muscle defects revealed during ultrasound for patients in the combined group. The RTP time and subjective and objective outcome measures were compared. A combined score was developed to evaluate outcomes that consisted of overall satisfaction (50%), RTP time (15%), and Tegner scores (35%). Mean RTP was 11 weeks (range, 4-36 weeks). Postoperative Tegner score remained 8.2 (same as the preinjury Tegner score). Subjective outcome was rated 4.3 of 5. The combined score indicated 80% of good or excellent results for both groups. Surgical intervention allows RTP at the same level in professional soccer players following failure of nonoperative treatments. Athletes with adductor syndrome and accompanying sportsman's hernia may benefit from adductor tenotomy alone.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Abdominal Pain / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Groin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soccer / injuries*
  • Tendinopathy / complications
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis
  • Tendinopathy / surgery*
  • Tenotomy / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult