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Corticosteriod Injections as a Viable Treatment for Sportsman's Hernia

by Anne Spencer | May 30, 2012

CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS AS A VIABLE TREATMENT FOR SPORTMAN’S HERNIA  

Ultrasound Guided Injections as Opposed to Surgery Can Reduce Recovery Time

SAN FRANCISCO – Treating athletes with ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections may be a viable treatment option for an injury common among professional and recreational athletes. Athletic pubalgia – also known as sportsman’s hernia – is a weakening of the muscles or tendons of the lower abdominal wall causing a debilitating pain and discomfort in the groin area. A study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 59th Annual Meeting in San Francisco indicates the minimally invasive treatment may be a viable choice for patients to speed up recovery time.

In sports such as hockey, skating, soccer and tennis, twisting and turning while moving forward is a necessary athletic skill necessary. Yet, the repetitive motion may result in athletic pubalgia. The recommended treatment option has been surgery; however, ultrasound-guided injections are a promising alternative according to researchers.

“Rehabilitation from surgery can take on average eight weeks,” said Alex Fokin, M.D., lead author of the study conducted at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. “Since the injury is so common, knowing ultrasound-guided injections are another option for treatment will be beneficial for patients looking to speed up the recovery time with something effective, yet less invasive than surgery.” 

For the study, 12 patients diagnosed with athletic pubalgia (average age 31) underwent targeted ultrasound of their painful groins, all revealing damage or a tear around the insertion site of the abdomen or hip. From there, all patients were treated with an injection of a steroid and anesthetic mixture under direct sonographic visualization. Following treatment, all 12 patients completed a WOMAC hip score questionnaire in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment. The overall average WOMAC score among all 12 patients was 90.9.

Based on the objective outcome scores, this study shows that ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injections are a viable treatment option for patients with athletic pubalgia.

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 45,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

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