Article Text

Radiological findings in symphyseal and adductor-related groin pain in athletes: a critical review of the literature
  1. Sonia Branci1,2,
  2. Kristian Thorborg1,
  3. Michael Bachmann Nielsen2,
  4. Per Hölmich1,3
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Arthroscopic Center Amager, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Aspetar Sports Groin Pain Center, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sonia Branci, Department of Radiology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Blegdamsvej 9, Copenhagen OE 2100, Denmark; Sonia.Branci.01{at}


Long-standing symphyseal and adductor-related groin pain is a common problem for many athletes, and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Radiological evaluation of symptomatic individuals is a cornerstone in the diagnostic workup, and should be based on precise and reliable diagnostic terms and imaging techniques. The authors performed a review of the existing original evidence-based radiological literature involving radiography, ultrasonography and MRI in athletes with long-standing symphyseal and adductor-related groin pain. Our search yielded 17 original articles, of which 12 were dedicated to MRI, four to radiography and one to ultrasonography. Four main radiological findings seem to consistently appear: degenerative changes at the pubic symphyseal joint, pathology at the adductor muscle insertions, pubic bone marrow oedema and the secondary cleft sign. However, the existing diagnostic terminology is confusing, and the interpretation of radiological findings would benefit from imaging studies using a more systematic approach.

  • Groin Injuries
  • MRI
  • Sporting Injuries
  • Ultrasound
  • Soccer

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