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Sports Medicine

Running Injury to Groin and Upper Thigh

06/23/2010

Question:

I`m a reasonably fit male in his late twenties, and over the last year or so, I`ve built up my running mileage gradually.

However, I got too ambitious over the course of March and April (in terms of mileage increases, speed work, and weight training) and found myself injured. Six weeks ago, I got back from a long run in the rain, and, after I got back home, I noticed significant pain when I shifted my weight onto my left leg. It also hurt to lift that leg. Since then, I`ve made a couple of attempts to resume running but each time found the pain returning after two or three runs.

Unfortunately, even after a couple more weeks of no running whatsoever, I still notice intermittent pain in three places: the part of my groin where the adductor attaches to the bone, my hip bursa, and a small patch in the upper part of my hamstring. My assumption is that an adductor strain is my primary problem and the other two sites of pain are secondary, but I would have expected an adductor strain to have healed by this point. Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?

Also, I`ve sporadically applied ice and taken ibuprofen, but I`m not sure if I should continue with these steps or take other measures.

Answer:

With the increase in mileage and speed and the pain in the groin, I am very concerned about a stress fracture of a femoral neck. Femoral neck stress fractures can be high risk stress fractures. You may have a strain in your adductor/hamstring, but stress fracture needs to be ruled out. You should avoid running or any other physical activity besides walking for your activities of daily living, and get in to see your doctor as soon as possible.

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Response by:

Kendra L McCamey, MD Kendra L McCamey, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University