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Comment & Response
June 10, 2020

Use of Sports Hernia to Describe Groin Pain in Athletes

Author Affiliations
  • 1Sports Orthopaedic Research Center–Copenhagen, Amager-Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark
JAMA Surg. Published online June 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.1759

To the Editor In the light of consensus statements and adoption of common terminology from world groin pain experts,1,2 we were surprised by both title and content of the article “Groin Pain Syndrome Known as Sports Hernia: A Review” by Zuckerbraun et al.3 Groin pain in athletes can originate from many different anatomical structures but is most commonly related to the hip adductors, and more specifically to the adductor longus muscle, tendon, and insertion at the pubic bone.4 It has been recommended by leading groin pain experts to avoid using the term sports hernia because a hernia very rarely is present in athletes.1,2 Instead, inguinal-related pain/disruption have been agreed on as better terms, based on clearly defined clinical findings.1,2 Using the inguinal-related groin pain definition,1 patients with what was formerly known as sports hernia only constituted 4% of all groin injuries in professional soccer from 2001 to 2016.4 So not only is sports hernia a misnomer,1,2 it is also a rare cause of groin pain in athletes.4

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