Longstanding groin pain in athletes. A multidisciplinary approach

Sports Med. 1988 Jul;6(1):56-61. doi: 10.2165/00007256-198806010-00006.


In 21 male athletes (age 20 to 40 years) with longstanding unexplained groin pain, a multidisciplinary investigation was performed in order to reveal the underlying cause. These examinations included general surgery for detection of inguinal hernia and neuralgia, orthopaedic surgery for detection of adductor tenoperiostitis and symphysitis, urology for detection of prostatitis, radiology for performing herniography and plain film of the pelvic bones, nuclear medicine for isotope studies of the pubic bone and symphysis. In 19 patients there was a positive diagnosis for 2 or more of the diseases (10 patients had 2 diseases, 6 patients had 3 diseases, 3 patients had 4 diseases). Two patients had only signs of symphysitis. Our results show the complexity of longstanding groin pain in athletes. It also explains why therapy for one specific disease entity may fail. We conclude that this clinical setting demands the recruitment of a team with experience of different aspects of groin pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Groin* / injuries
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Management
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Soccer
  • Sports*