What is a Groin Injury?

What is a Groin Injury?

It is often heard, especially in the ranks of football and soccer players, that an athlete has gone out with a groin injury. It’s vague and nondescript, but non-the-less, very common. One of the most recent players to have fallen victim to a groin injury is Chicago Bear’s quarterback Jay Cutler.

While Groin injuries occur predominately in Football and Soccer players, they also account for nearly 15% of all hockey-related injuries. Groin injuries are often sustained in athletes that engage in a considerable amount or running, jumping and cutting. A rapid change in momentum or a sudden movement of the lower extremity can result in the groin or thigh being over-stretched or torn.

Groin injuries can involve one, or up to all of the five, of the adductor muscles. The pectineus, adductor brevis and adductor longus muscles, which connect the pelvis to the thigh bone as well as the gracilis and adductor magnus muscles, which connect the pelvis to the knee, make up the area that is commonly referred to as the groin. The primary function of the adductors group of muscles is to pull the legs toward the midline. During the motion of routine walking, they also contribute to the maintenance of balance. 

Groin Injury Classification

  • A 1st degree groin injury results in minimal loss of strength or movement and often only results in mild tightness to the area. Less than 10% of the muscle fibers are typically affected.
  • A 2nd degree groin injury produces some moderate tissue damage (10% – 90% fiber damage) and results in minimal to moderate levels of pain.
  • A 3rd degree, and most severe groin injury, results in a partial or complete tear of the muscle/s and results in moderate to severe pain, swelling and bruising and loss of function.


Treatment of a Groin Injury

Treatment is dependent on the severity of the injury, though the first line treatment is always R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Sports injury specialists also often employ ultrasound and laser treatment, taping of the groin, sports massage and operative repair, for the most significant groin injuries. Subsequent long-term physical therapy and rehabilitation may be required in the most severe cases.



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Who Has The Last Word On Whether an Athlete Plays: RG III Case Study

The NFL Players Association said Friday that it would not pursue any sanctions against the medical staff, on the sidelines, during last weekend’s game that produced the significant injury to Robert Griffin III’s right knee. In addition to the medical team, that is a permanent part of the Washington Redskin’s organization, highly recognized orthopedic surgeon, James Andrews, MD was also present.

RG III underwent a right knee reconstruction earlier this week, following the Washington Redskin’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Redskin’s head coach, Mike Shanahan, came under significant scrutiny when Dr. Andrews refuted the statement, by Shanahan, that Andrews had given Griffin III medical clearance to play. Though the NFLPA reviewed the medical care delivered on the sideline to RG III, the NFL Player’s Union had no authority to investigate the coaching decisions, made by Shanahan and his staff.

To add insult to injury, the reporting practices of the Redskin’s organization has now come into question, after it was disclosed yesterday that, in addition to a full repair of his LCL and ACL, Griffin III had also undergone a meniscal repair, that wasn’t originally reported. Given current HIPA guidelines, all medical information regarding RG III is technically confidential. However, when his medical history influences everything from an organization’s franchise quarterback position to the common man’s Fantasy League, it is popular opinion that we all have the right to full disclosure.

What prompted the lack of full transparency, of the extent of Griffin’s procedure, we are not likely to know. Whether this was an oversight or a calculated decision, to withhold the entirety of the procedure, is likely to be questioned for some time to come. However, there is little doubt that the more damage, and thus need for repair, that was found in GR III’s knee, the longer it will take him to recover and rehabilitate. Given the multiple ligament and meniscal involvement, Griffin is likely to be out well into next season’s regular game schedule.

As long as there are athletes, there will be sports-related injuries. The injury to RG III brings to light two complicated issues; a patient’s right to privacy and a coach’s responsibility to his individual players and his team.  In the face of a medical issue, where does the coach pass the gauntlet to the person that has the patient’s best interest at heart, the doctor?

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NFL Preseason Wrap-Up Injury Report Tuesday, September 4th at 8PM EST

Don’t miss out on the NFL preseason wrap-up injury analysis, available beginning Tuesday, September 4th at 8 PM, EST. The NFL Preseason wrap-up injury analysis is 100% FREE to all attendees and will be available for replay through the weekend. An additional FREE live update will take place on Friday, September 7th at 8PM EST, for last minute changes to the injury rosters. During Friday’s session, I will field any and all injury-related questions from the attendees. 

An up-to-date injury analysis will be held every Tuesday and Friday, during the NFL regular season. The first 10 people to sign up, by entering their contact information for Sports Injury Analyst Newsletter, will receive free access to the live updates, for the ENTIRE regular season.  Get your package for the season or by the week. Email me at [email protected] for sign-up details.

If you are interested in gaining the competitive advantage in your Fantasy League or hedging your bets in real life, you don’t want to miss out on the latest and most up-to-the-minute NFL injury analysis.

Disclaimer:  All information and knowledge gained by the use of Sports Injury Analyst, is purely for entertainment and enjoyment and is not meant to be used for the purposes of gaming. Sports Injury Analyst assumes no responsibility for any lost revenue due to gaming.


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Christmas in August

Without a doubt, this is my favorite time of year.  It’s my Christmas!  Christmas tree angels are replaced by team car flags, Santa Claus suits are replaced by terrible towels and cheese hats, and gifts are replaced by play-off spots.


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year 

(sung melodically in your head with Andy William’s voice)

It’s Football Season

As I have been watching the pre-season games with increasing excitement, I realize my Fantasy Teams will soon be in place. I’ll be dodging my long-standing Fantasy Teammates for players that may not even make it to week two. It’s a mind-boggling party where, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think something life or death was at stake. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Pizza, 9 layer bean dip, ice-cold bottles and much heckling at what, might seem to the casual observer, to be a ridiculous team-building strategy. I know I won’t get them all right. There is no accounting for injuries, player personnel issues or un-reported vices. However, I will diligently be trading every week. It’s hard core stuff.

I hope you will join me on Twitter @injuryanalyst, as I analyze the games and the player’s associated injuries. I’ll keep you up-to-date on the player’s prognoses and let you know which of your favorite real-life and fantasy favorites are likely to be sidelined. Tweet me, if you have a specific question about your favorite player’s likelihood of being in the game. If you want me in your Fantasy League, I’ll try to make it happen. If you want my advice on your trades, let me know…I’m there for you. This is the good stuff.

“I’m making my Fantasy list and checking it twice. Gonna find out whose injured and giving advice. Football Season’s coming to town.”

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Royce White – Fight or Flight

It’s a big day tomorrow for Royce White. The former Iowa State and Minnesota Forward is waiting, with bated breath, to find out where he will land in tomorrow’s NBA draft.

During last week’s pre-draft combine, the 270 pound Forward told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz,

“I’ve just got to be 100 percent honest in the interviews and everywhere this week and in the process. It’s hard to keep up with the lies, and it’s harder with anxiety. It’s a stress-booster. I’ve got to be 100 percent honest.” 

Apparently White has an anxiety disorder that includes obsessive-compulsive disorder and a fear flying. With millions of dollars on the line, you have to give White some credit for manning-up and being willing to talk about his diagnosis. While most people in White’s situation would stay quiet until at least after the check was cut, White has chosen to be the voice of an often underground medical condition that frequently gets labeled as a character flaw, as opposed to a true health diagnoses. Royce White wants to make it very clear that it’s not impacting his play.  He is hoping that by being completely forthcoming, others that are suffering from the same symptoms, will get help sooner. He also apparently believes in the team executives to take the high-road on this one.

Unfortunately, in a situation like the NBA draft, which will occur on June 28, 2012, teams are often scared off by anything that raises the mildest of red flags. There are a lot of guys coming out of college that have good stats, but Royce should still statistically go in the 1st round. There is rumor that there’s a Savior deal at pick number 21 with the Boston Celtics. That sounds like a pretty good opportunity in the long run, even if it doesn’t pay off financially, short-term.

Like every other professional sports organization, the NBA has a bottom dollar. They’re constantly weighing their risk/return ratio and anything that tips the scale into the red is going to be heavily scrutinized. It would be a real shame if his talented player, who has successfully flown all during his college career, would be passed over for a player of lesser talent, based on honesty. Flying is a necessity in the professional sports business and Royce White knows that. He hasn’t said he wouldn’t fly– only that he has a fear of flying. Any front office should know that there are well-developed programs in place to deal with the issue of frightful flying. In the long run, it would be a lot less expensive–for whoever ultimately drafts White–to engage him in some intensive flight psychotherapy than to take a complete pass. What Royce White can bring to a team, in terms of returns, seem to far outweigh any downside of drafting him. 

To be fair, White has had some scuffles in the past, at the high school and early college level, but that seems to have been dealt with properly. There was a high school expulsion, in addition to a shoplifting conviction and theft investigation during his brief stay in Minnesota. These factors,  no doubt, are being lumped together with White’s documented anxiety disorder. 

Who knows what will happen tomorrow in Newark. Given that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a true mental health diagnosis, just as a torn ACL or other musculoskeletal issue would be, I wouldn’t necessarily expect the professional teams to overlook the situation completely. They wouldn’t overlook a bad knee and I don’t imagine they’ll look past a mental health disorder either. Let’s just hope, that if it does come down to anything lower than the Boston Celtic’s 21st pick, that Royce White will have brought some honest awareness to the dark underbelly of mental illness.

Wow… That seems like such a dirty statement for a guy that’s just afraid to fly. 

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It’s Tough To Be Suggs!

It’s tough to be Terrell Suggs. It might be even tougher to be a Baltimore Ravens fan this season. Recent reports have it that the mighty linebacker tore his Achilles tendon during a game of basketball. Terrell, himself, quickly debunked the basketball theory. A more accurate description of how the Achilles tear occurred was said to have been related to off-season training. OoooooK, that works for me!

Suggs also added that he believed it was only a partial tear and would hopefully have corrective surgery sometime next week. Suggs tweeted that he will be back in a Ravens uniform in 2012. When that announcement was met with sceptical eye rolling, Suggs reaffirmed that he’ll be back playing…definitely, by the end of November.

The typical Achilles injury takes a minimum 6 months to heal – most patients require the better part of a year, for their post-surgical rehabilitation. No doubt, Terrell is in “much-better-than-typical” shape. It’s just too early to put a time-frame on Sugg’s return. Let’s hope for the best, but not be surprised by a longer rehabilitation period.

The Baltimore Ravens have commented publicly, “We are in contact with Terrell. He will see a specialist early next week, and we’ll know more at that time.”

For Terrell Suggs to miss any of the 2012 season will most likely be a pretty strong left hook to the jaw of the Baltimore Ravens. In the 2011 season there were 70 tackles and 40 sacks that wouldn’t have occurred if Suggs weren’t on the field. Those are big numbers for a single defensive player. It’s true, with the drafting of defensive end/outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the Ravens should be okay from a depth perspective. Quantity won’t be the issue with the Baltimore Ravens. The difference will come in the form of quality; a newly drafted player versus a veteran game-changer.

Stay tuned for the post-operative update, next week, on the Baltimore Ravens linebacker, Terrell Suggs.

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What Could They Possibly Have Been Thinking?

Much like a shooting star as it crosses the sky and then plummets to earth, so will be the draft prospects of Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Burfict danced around his displacement of 1st round draft status after a mediocre showing at the NFL scouting combine. Then there was the talk of his character not being of  NFL standards. I must admit that makes me chuckle a bit, given some of the “characters” playing today…but that’s a story for another time.

With those two strikes against Burflict, I would have thought he would certainly be minding the old image-o-meter. Apparently not the case. It was just announced that Vontaze flunked a drug test. The possibility now exists that he may go completely un-drafted. The best he can probably expect is a 3rd round offer.

At the same time it was announced that Burflict flunked his drug test, the news was also released that Virginia Tech cornerback JayRon Hosley had done the like. Hosley’s newsflash wasn’t as great, but it still begs the question:

Who knowingly ingests drugs, prior to a scheduled drug test, that will likely direct the course of their career?

This information will be so fresh, at the time of the NFL draft, that there’s no way a potential suitor will be able to not take it into consideration. There are only two conclusions to be drawn here. Either these players have some very questionable decisions-making skills or they have addiction issues. Neither of which a front office is going to be eager to embrace, especially at the outset of a professional career.

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It Was All Gone In A “Linstant” for Jeremy

Dominating notoriety, lucrative endorsements and back to back Sports Illustrated covers served to make the sting in Jeremy Lin’s knee that much more painful. Lin, the zero to sixty point guard for the New York Knicks, is being sent back to the pine after a brief stop in the operating room.

The timing could have been worse. He could have required the meniscus surgery early in the year. Had that happened, it is quite likely that the majority of casual NBA fans might never have even heard of Jeremy Lin.

“If this was done very early in the year, obviously … I don’t know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot,” Lin said. “But having said that, this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into the season, and to not be there when it really matters most is hard.”

Then again, the timing could have been better. With momentum and public interest behind them, not in small part to Lin, the Knicks will have to reevaluate their game plan. The injury comes on the heals of the loss of Amare Stoudemire, who is out for up to four weeks with a back injury. This leaves the Knicks with the delema of how to put points on the board with their second and third-leading scorers most likely out for the rest of the season.

It’s not a career ending injury. It’s a chronic, small tear that happened at some point in the past. New York coach Mike Woodson has gone on record stating that he won’t be shopping for guards, so he obviously understands that point. That is very good news for the initially un-drafted Harvard graduate.

“We’ve got to go on, but he’s a big piece of our puzzle and what we’ve been doing as of late. All is not bad — we have three veteran point guards sitting over there — but we’ve just got to make do until he’s able to get back in uniform,” Woodson said. “But it is a big blow. He was starting to come as a player and it’s not a career-ending injury. Plenty of people play with meniscus problems. He’ll bounce back. We will anxiously await for him to get better.”

Lin has been playing with the injury for quite some time but had a recent flair of the problem against Detroit last Saturday. Lin left the game in the third quarter and did not return. He took part in a shootaround during this past week and had a re-evaluation at the end of this past week. His knee was no longer edematous, but the pain persisted. At that point, the decision was made to pursue a surgical treatment.

This radiographic image represents an example of a torn meniscus and is not meant to represent the injury sustained by Jeremy Lin


A meniscal tear can be career-ending, but that is not the way the majority of these injuries play out in the professional arena. The meniscal tear in Lin’s knee is reported to be chronic and mild. That being the case, the actual surgery should take less than 30 minutes. In addition to the surgical repair of the meniscus, the surgeon will most certainly spend a few minutes getting an internal view of Lin’s knee. Due to the chronic nature of the injury, the surgeon will be looking for additional pathology that may have developed due to the inflammation from the initial tear.  When it’s all said and done, this will hopefully be just a blip on Jeremy Lin’s career radar.

Whatever the outcome, it has been an exciting and unexpected ride for Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks and NBA basketball fans everywhere.

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Just How Chipper Will Jones Be By The Start Of The Regular Season?

Just when a big retirement party was about to break out in Atlanta, the Braves announced that third baseman Chipper Jones will miss the start of his final season. A mere 2 days after Jones had announced that this would be his swan song year, the Braves followed with an announcement today the Jones would undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, on Monday. Ironically, the injury occurred immediately prior to his retirement announcement, as he was running into the outfield. 

Jones most recent season culminated with Jones missing nearly 3 weeks at the close of the season, due to an arthroscopic surgical procedure for cartilage in the opposite knee. 

The hope of general manager Frank Wren is that Jones will be back on the active roster in time for the home opener on April 13th. It’s certainly possible that the third baseman could see the start of the regular season. Depending on the severity and extent of the procedure, Jones could easily see action that soon. There is no doubt the MRI has shown the surgeon what the problem is. However, it really is difficult to know the extent of the damage until the scope is in the knee. Given the description of the injury, my bet is that something is acutely torn and will require a surgical repair. This will most likely require a more lengthly rehabilitation time than say, for instance, a foreign body that is floating loose in Chipper’s knee. Even with an arthroscopic surgical repair of a tear, it’s still within the realm of possibility that we will see his smiling face on opening day.

“The last time he had surgery … it took only about 17 days to get him back on the field. Of course, that being said, he had played for 2 1/2 months. He wasn’t that far out of rhythm or out of shape,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

“But knowing him, If it’s not right on 17 days, it may be 21. He knows his body. He doesn’t take very long to get his rhythm going at the plate.”

Time will tell…but my bet’s on Chipper!


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It’s Groundhog Day for the Tar Heels

Is it just me or does it feel like Groundhog Day for the North Carolina Tar Heels? Way back in 1984, with North Carolina heavily favored to win the national championship, a point guard with a broken wrist helped to derail the pursuit. Eerily similar circumstances, to those of point guard Kendall Marshall, produced a non-dominant fracture to the wrist of then guard Kenny Smith. Few would question the fact that North Carolina’s team is made up of stars this year. However, you might have a hard time convincing me that the 2012 team stacks up in superior fashion next to 1984′s loaded team, which included Michael Jordan Sam Perkins. They couldn’t get it done in 1984 and that leads me to wonder if it is possible in 2012.

Kendall Marshall’s fracture, over the weekend, involved the scaphoid bone of his right wrist.

The scaphoid bone is located on the thumb side of the wrist and is said to resemble a cashew. Nearly 60% of all wrist fractures involve the scaphoid bone. The angle at which contact is made, during the injury, determines where on the scaphoid bone, the fracture occurs. The majority of fractures occur in the middle or lower portion of the bone.

Kendall Marshall had a surgical stabilization of the scaphoid bone in his right wrist on Monday and let everyone know, today, that his cast had been removed.

Radiographic Image of a Scaphoid Repair. Disclaimer: Not meant to represent the surgical repair of Kendall Marshall

Fortunately, with Marshall being a lefty, the injury and subsequent surgery involves the non-shooting hand. North Carolina hasn’t ruled him out to play in St. Louis, but no one really expects him to be able to play in the Midwest regional semi-finals, on Friday. Factor in the fact that Dexter Strickland, the number 2 ball handler for the Tar Heels, was lost to a knee injury in January, and it makes most people who put the Tar Heels victorious have to fight the urge to send their brackets up in flames.

The media is making a big deal about the fact that Marshal tweeted he got his cast off. That’s truly secondary to the fact that Marshall required a surgical stabilization. There is no doubt that he is still sporting a soft, removable splint. It’s possible that Marshall’s orthopedic surgeon could put him in a bubble split, which would allow him to play this weekend. It is unlikely, however, that he could create the same chemistry of play we’ve become accustomed to seeing from the guard.

 “I have no idea,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said when asked specifically about the chances of Marshall playing.

“I’m being truthful with you. If he comes running in here now and says ‘God I can play’ I’ll say ‘Well, let’s talk about this.’

I think they’ll do more than just talk. I can see Williams jumping for joy. Then again, how much faith can you put in a college player who is competing on the biggest stage of his collegiate career? What he thinks he is capable of and what he is really capable of are, most likely, two completely different things.

Time will tell if we see Kendall Marshall in the Tar Heel’s game on Friday. I’m on team “there’s no way, North Carolina can win the national championship without Marshall”. Then again…my bracket has Kentucky in the center position. 

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