Common Types of Groin Injury and When to Seek Help

Posted on 2020/09/30 by Laparoscopic Surgical Center of New York

Groin injuries are some of the most common types of injury sustained in sport, although they can also occur at other times. Groin injuries are usually caused by overuse or repetitive use of the lower abdominal muscles and are more often seen in the side of the athlete’s dominant leg. While they can be painful and debilitating, there are treatments available that can help to eliminate the symptoms and prevent any irreversible damage that they could otherwise cause. 

Here’s what you need to know about the most common types of groin injury and their symptoms so that you know when it’s time to see professional help.

Common types of groin injury  

Some types of groin injury are more common than others. Some of those that we see most often include:

Groin strain. By far the most common type of injury, groin strain occurs when there are one or more tears in one of the muscles in the pelvis, including the lower abdominal or thigh muscles. It most often affects the area where the muscle and tendon meet, and without treatment, groin strains can become a long-term problem. This is because if treatment isn’t sought, the muscles around the groin can weaken and become prone to damage.

The symptoms of a groin strain include:

  • Sudden, sharp pain in the inner thigh, groin muscle.

  • This pain may become a dull ache.

  • The area will feel tender and may appear swollen or bruised.

  • Sometimes the pain can worsen when you cough or sneeze when you raise your knees or bring your legs together.

Avulsion fracture. An avulsion fracture is an injury that occurs when the tendons that connect your muscles to your bone are torn at the site where they meet. They happen after a sudden, forceful contraction of the muscle, and this makes them more likely if you have tight muscles from not warming up properly before an activity.

The symptoms of an avulsion fracture include:

  • Tenderness or sudden, severe pain in the upper leg or hip

  • Swelling and inflammation in the area

  • Limited mobility

  • Visible bruising

Inguinal hernia. A hernia is a name given to the protrusion of an internal part of the body through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall. Some types of hernia are more common than others, with inguinal hernias being the most common of all. They mostly occur in men, particularly those who are overweight. Heavy lifting, such as weightlifting, is a leading cause of this type of hernia.

The symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:

  • Visible swelling or lump in your groin

  • An enlarged scrotum

  • Pain in the groin and/or scrotum

  • Pain that gets worse when coughing, lifting, and bending over

Emergency help for a groin injury

Many groin injuries aren’t serious and can be resolved over time, using medication and other treatments recommended by your doctor. However, there are times when it’s wise to seek immediate professional help. These include:

  • If you have severe testicular pain that appears out of nowhere

  • If your testicular pain is accompanied by a fever, chills, nausea, or blood in your urine

  • You are also experiencing pain in your back, abdomen, or chest


Your doctor will be able to assess your condition and recommend treatments to help. In addition to heat/cold therapy, it may be necessary for you to undergo surgery to repair the injury. Fortunately, many groin injuries can be repaired laparoscopically, meaning a lower risk of complications and a faster recovery.


To find out more about groin injuries and the treatment available, don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team.

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