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Concept: Athletic pubalgia

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Chronic pubalgia affects around 10% of athletes.

Concepts: Athletic pubalgia

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Evaluation and treatment of groin pain in athletes is challenging. The anatomy is complex, and multiple pathologies often coexist. Different pathologies may cause similar symptoms, and many systems can refer pain to the groin. Many athletes with groin pain have tried prolonged rest and various treatment regimens, and received differing opinions as to the cause of their pain. The rehabilitation specialist is often given a non-specific referral of “groin pain” or “sports hernia.” The cause of pain could be as simple as the effects of an adductor strain, or as complex as athletic pubalgia or inguinal disruption. The term “sports hernia” is starting to be replaced with more specific terms that better describe the injury. Inguinal disruption is used to describe the syndromes related to the injury of the inguinal canal soft tissue environs ultimately causing the pain syndrome. The term athletic pubalgia is used to describe the disruption and/or separation of the more medial common aponeurosis from the pubis, usually with some degree of adductor tendon pathology.

Concepts: Syndromes, Inguinal hernia, Hernia, Anatomy, Medical school, Athletic pubalgia, Superficial inguinal ring, Sports medicine

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OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to describe the results of pubic symphyseal CT arthrography compared with MRI in patients with suspected athletic pubalgia. MATERIALS AND METHODS. In this study, two musculoskeletal radiologists retrospectively searched our department’s PACS to identify patients who had undergone CT-guided injection with concurrent pubic symphyseal CT arthrography for evaluation and treatment of groin pain, sports hernia, or athletic pubalgia over a 5.5-year period (January 1, 2007-July 1, 2012). The MR and CT arthrography images and reports, clinical findings at presentation, pain response to injection, and operative findings were reviewed using the electronic medical record. RESULTS. Twelve patients underwent CT-guided injection and pubic symphyseal CT arthrography at our institution during the 5.5-year study period. Nine of the 12 patients had undergone MRI before the procedure. In two of the three patients who had not undergone MRI, CT arthrography revealed secondary clefts. Three of four patients who had secondary clefts on MRI had contrast extravasation reproducing the cleft at CT. Three patients had MRI findings suggestive of athletic pubalgia without MRI evidence of a secondary cleft; in all three of these patients, CT arthrography showed a secondary cleft. In four patients, CT arthrography revealed tendon tears at the adductor origin that were not apparent on MRI. All 12 patients reported decreased groin pain after injection. CONCLUSION. Pubic symphyseal CT arthrography is a useful technique for the diagnosis and short-term pain relief of athletic pubalgia. It can be used to identify secondary clefts and to detect tendon tears that can potentially be overlooked on MRI.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Hernia, Athletic pubalgia, Superficial inguinal ring, Sports medicine

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Athletic pubalgia is a syndrome of chronic lower abdomen and groin pain that occurs in athletes. It is the direct result of stress and microtears of the rectus abdominis inserting on the pubis from the antagonizing adductor longus muscles, and weakness of the posterior transversalis fascia and bulging of the inguinal floor.

Concepts: Surgery, Hernia, Pubic symphysis, Femoral triangle, Thigh muscles, Transversalis fascia, Athletic pubalgia, Adductor longus muscle

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Two of the most common causes of groin pain in athletes are femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and athletic pubalgia. An association between the 2 is apparent, but the prevalence of radiographic signs of FAI in patients undergoing athletic pubalgia surgery remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of radiologic signs of FAI in patients with athletic pubalgia.

Concepts: Hernia, Athletic pubalgia

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Chronic groin pain (athletic pubalgia) is a common problem in sports such as football, hockey, cricket, baseball and athletics. Multiple co-existing pathologies are often present which commonly include posterior inguinal canal wall deficiency, conjoint tendinopathy, adductor tendinopathy, osteitis pubis and peripheral nerve entrapment. The mechanism of injury remains unclear but sports that involve either pivoting on a single leg (e.g. kicking) or a sudden change in direction at speed are most often associated with athletic pubalgia. These manoeuvres place large forces across the bony pelvis and its soft tissue supports, accounting for the usual clinical presentation of multiple symptomatic abnormalities forming one pattern of injury.

Concepts: Retrospective, Inguinal hernia, Hernia, Pelvis, Pubic symphysis, Athletic pubalgia, Superficial inguinal ring, Sports medicine

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Athletes frequently injure their hips and core muscles. Accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of groin pain in the athlete can be tricky, frequently posing vexing problem for trainers and physicians. Clinical presentations of the various hip problems overlap with respect to history and physical examination. This article reviews clinical presentations and magnetic resonance imaging findings specific to the various causes of groin pain in the athlete. The focus is on the core muscle injuries (athletic pubalgia or “sports hernia”). The goal is to raise awareness about the variety of injuries that occur and therapeutic options.

Concepts: Surgery, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Medical diagnosis, Hernia, Athletic pubalgia, Superficial inguinal ring, Sports medicine

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become the standard imaging modality for activity-related groin pain. Lesions, including rectus abdominis/adductor aponeurosis injury and osteitis pubis, can be accurately identified and delineated in patients with clinical conditions termed athletic pubalgia, core injury, and sports hernia. A dedicated noncontrast athletic pubalgia MRI protocol is easy to implement and should be available at musculoskeletal MR imaging centers. This article will review pubic anatomy, imaging considerations, specific lesions, and common MRI findings encountered in the setting of musculoskeletal groin pain.

Concepts: Spin, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Hernia, Radiology, Pubic symphysis, Athletic pubalgia

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The clinical syndrome of athletic pubalgia has prematurely ended many promising athletic careers, has made many active, fitness conscious adults more sedentary, and has served as a diagnostic and therapeutic conundrum for innumerable trainers and physicians worldwide for decades. This diagnosis actually arises from one or more lesions within a spectrum of musculoskeletal and visceral injuries. In recent years, MRI has helped define many of these syndromes, and has proven to be both sensitive and specific for numerous potential causes of athletic pubalgia. This text will provide a comprehensive, up to date review of expected and sometimes unexpected MRI findings in the setting of athletic pubalgia, and will delineate an imaging algorithm and MRI protocol to help guide radiologists and other clinicians dealing with refractory, activity related groin pain in an otherwise young, healthy patient. There is still more to be learned about prevention and treatment plans for athletic pubalgia lesions, but accurate diagnosis should be much less nebulous and difficult with the use of MRI as a primary imaging modality.

Concepts: Hernia, Athletic pubalgia