It is very important to diagnose and treat groin pain because it could signal the onset of hip arthritis, according to an article in the current issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).
Researchers from Cleveland Clinic Florida conducted a literature review which showed that a quarter of people experience groin pain as a result of developing hip arthritis. Factors contributing to this include a sport-related trauma, hip surgery, bone or soft tissue infection, birth defect and a history of occupational or recreational injuries.
Study lead author Juan Suarez points out that people experiencing sudden groin pain should immediately consult a doctor. They need to watch out for symptoms such as bowel or bladder dysfunction, fever and stomach discomfort. But it is also important to evaluate patients suffering from chronic groin pain because this could help find the source of their pain and improve the management of their condition, Suarez adds.
The risk of hip osteoarthritis is greater among young athletes engaged in endurance sports, football, basketball and ice hockey, among others, the study report also notes. This type of arthritis is the result of frequent and significant stress on the joints. In the case of female athletes participating in such sports, there is also a greater risk of hip and pelvic fractures.
Suarez also stresses the importance of consulting doctors from multiple specialities because the sources of groin pain are sometimes difficult to pinpoint. It may take numerous visits, check-ups and referrals to reach the correct diagnosis, he says.