STUDY DESIGN: Case Report.
BACKGROUND: Activity-limiting groin pain is relatively common in athletes who participate in sports which involve rapid or repetitive twisting, cutting, and/or kicking. Despite the reported prevalence of this condition in athletes, there is still much controversy as to the anatomical structures involved and most effective treatment approach. There is limited evidence favoring conservative management of sports hernia as opposed to surgical intervention in professional athletes, and there are no reports of sports hernia management in the professional golf population. The purpose of this case report is to describe the conservative management and decision making used with a professional golfer with symptoms consistent with a sports hernia which allowed for successful return to prior level of sport participation.
CASE PRESENTATION: The subject of this case report is a professional golfer who developed lower abdominal and groin pain after changes in conditioning routine. Clinical presentation was consistent with a diagnosis of sports hernia. Rehabilitation of this athlete included a structured core muscle retraining program which utilized a step wise progression through the neurodevelopmental sequence in order to allow for development of neuromuscular control and stability required for return to golf.
OUTCOME: This athlete was able to return to full golf participation after 13 physical therapy visits over 4 weeks.
DISCUSSION: The available evidence supports surgical intervention over conservative management in the treatment of sports hernia in the athletic population. A structured and comprehensive rehabilitation program addressing core muscle weakness and contributing impairments adjacent to injury may be a beneficial treatment option prior to surgical repair potentially allowing return to sport in some athletes.
LEVELS OF EVIDENCE: 4.
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