What are the hip adductor muscles?
The hip adductors are a group of four muscles in the inner thigh. They originate at the pubic bone and insert along the thigh bone (femur) and function to move the legs toward the midline of the body and rotate the thigh inward. Hip adductor muscles are important for many athletic movements including swimming, biking, and running, as well as normal day to day activities like walking and sitting. Weak adductor muscles can cause various hip, knee, and ankle injuries due to improper gait patterns.
Hip adductor tears are tears of the muscle, tendon, or both. They are a common and often debilitating cause of pain and dysfunction. Tears may be partial or complete. Hip adductor tears are considered either overuse injuries or traumatic sports injuries.
Adductor tendon injuries are graded according to severity with Grade 1 being pain and tenderness, Grade 2 as a partial tear and Grade 3 being a traumatic rupture of the tendon. In severe cases the tendon is torn off the bone along with a piece of bone (avulsion).
Groin pain is common in athletes who play sports that require cutting, pivoting, and kicking such as soccer, football, and ice hockey. Hip adductor tears affect 10-30% of soccer and hockey players.
When the adductor tendon is repeatedly or instantaneously strained by a sudden muscle contraction from the inner thigh, it can lead to either a partial or complete tear of the muscle-tendon complex.
- Immediate and severe pain in the groin
- Tenderness and swelling at the site of injury
- Decreased strength when trying to pull the leg into alignment
Diagnosis of adductor tendon injuries are typically made clinically with groin pain, tenderness, and decreased strength. The expert hip surgeons at LALL Orthopedics + will review your medical history, discuss the circumstances of your injury, perform a comprehensive orthopedic examination testing hip strength and flexibility, and look for signs of injury including bruising and swelling. They will order X-rays to evaluate for any bone injury and likely an MRI to reveal the extent of damage to the adductor tendon including areas of soft tissue swelling.
For most adductor tears, including Grades 1 and 2 injuries, nonsurgical treatment is the mainstay of treatment. Common treatment modalities consist of rest, icing, NSAIDS and protected weight-bearing followed by a structured rehabilitation program with gentle stretching progressing to resistance exercise and core strengthening. To help improve rapid-healing time and enhance healing potential cutting-edge regenerative medicine treatment modalities are often used such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or stem-cell injections. These treatments have been shown to be beneficial for tendon repair.
After exhaustion of conservative measures in chronic cases > 3 months, or in cases of acute traumatic Grade 3 injury, surgical repair is indicated. This minimally-invasive procedure involves tendon reattachment to bone via use of suture anchors. The goal is to avoid disability and relieve pain. Recovery can take 3-4 months following surgical repair.
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New Jersey hip surgeon Dr. Ajay C. Lall is a former dual sport NCAA collegiate athlete (football and track & field), American board certified, triple fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Lall specializes in hip arthroscopy, robotic hip replacement and regenerative medicine such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem-cell therapy. He treats non-athletes and athletes at all levels of play from collegiate to professional to the Olympic level.
Contact LALL Orthopedics + to schedule a consultation, receive the correct diagnosis, and undergo state-of-the-art treatment options. LALL Orthopedics + has offices in Paramus, NJ, Philadelphia, PA and Belvidere, IL. LALL Orthopedics + regularly sees patients from Bergen County, Hackensack, and Morristown, NJ.
At a Glance
Ajay C. Lall, MD, MS, FAAOS
- Board Certified – Orthopedic Surgery
- Triple Fellowship Trained
- Performs over 750 Surgeries Per Year
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