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Adolescent Groin Pain

​​​​​​​Groin pain not strain

Is it strain or pain?

Time and rest may resolve pain in the groin, the area where your torso joins your legs. When it doesn’t seem to improve with rest, check with your doctor. A sports injury may have caused slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE), a condition that affects the hip.

Imagine an ice cream cone in which the ice cream is slipping off the cone. SCFE results in the growth center of the hip slipping from the top of the femur or thighbone. The condition is more often seen in children who are overweight, but it can occur from injury. Various positioning and force in sports cause stress across a hip and can lead to the slip. Displacement is determined by the direction of the force. If untreated, it can lead to serious problems in the hip joint later in life. When recognized and treated early, complications may be avoided or reduced.

SCFE can appear more like a stress fracture. Repetitive trauma to the joint will aggravate it.

Teenagers with SCFE will likely develop pain in the hip and begin to walk with a limp. Pain is sometimes consistent with deep groin pain or pain radiating in the groin area. It is important to tell your doctor about your symptoms. X-rays are usually necessary to diagnosis SCFE.

Coaches and parents need to watch for student athletes who may have developed SCFE. Symptoms include:

  1. Hip (groin) pain that does not subside over time with rest. 
  2. Limp develops in the walking gait.
  3. Hip is unable to bear weight.

The pain may seem minor. But long-term potential complications from SCFE include limited hip joint motion, differences in leg length and further hip problems as an adult. When caught early, chances of full recovery are better.

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