Cam morphology and inguinal pathologies: is there a possible connection?

J Orthop Traumatol. 2017 Dec;18(4):439-450. doi: 10.1007/s10195-017-0470-y. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


Background: To analyse the prevalences of the cam and pincer morphologies in a cohort of patients with groin pain syndrome caused by inguinal pathologies.

Materials and methods: Forty-four patients (40 men and 4 women) who suffered from groin pain syndrome were enrolled in the study. All the patients were radiographically and clinically evaluated following a standardised protocol established by the First Groin Pain Syndrome Italian Consensus Conference on Terminology, Clinical Evaluation and Imaging Assessment in Groin Pain in Athlete. Subsequently, all of the subjects underwent a laparoscopic repair of the posterior inguinal wall.

Results: The study demonstrated an association between the cam morphology and inguinal pathologies in 88.6% of the cases (39 subjects). This relationship may be explained by noting that the cam morphology leads to biomechanical stress at the posterior inguinal wall level.

Conclusions: Athletic subjects who present the cam morphology may be considered a population at risk of developing inguinal pathologies.

Level of evidence: Level IV, Observational cross-sectional study.

Keywords: Cam morphology; FAI syndrome; Groin pain syndrome; Pincer morphology.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / classification
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / diagnostic imaging
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / etiology
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / physiopathology*
  • Groin / surgery*
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surgical Mesh
  • Syndrome
  • Young Adult