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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Prevalence and severity of groin problems in Spanish football: A prospective study beyond the time-loss approach

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The time-loss definition of injury is commonly adopted in epidemiological groin-injury studies in football, with a significant risk of underestimating the impact of these injuries. This study investigated the extent of groin problems, beyond the time-loss approach, over a full Spanish football season. Players from 17 amateur male teams were followed over 39 consecutive weeks. Groin-injury time loss and self-reported groin pain, irrespective of time loss, were combined to calculate the average weekly prevalence of all groin problems with or without time loss. A subscale measuring hip- and groin-related sporting function from the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score questionnaire (HAGOS, Sport/Rec) was registered every 4 weeks. In total, 407 players participated in the study. The average (range) weekly prevalence of all groin problems was 11.7% (7.2%-20.8%); 1.3% with time loss (0.0%-3.2%) and 10.4% without time loss (6.3%-17.6%). Players with groin problems reported lower scores (mean difference) on the HAGOS, Sport/Rec subscale compared with players without (−19.5 [95% CI: −20.7 to −18.4]), while there was no difference between players reporting groin problems with and without time loss (4.0 [95% CI: −1.1 to 9.1]). The traditional time-loss measure only captured 10% of all groin problems. Hip- and groin-related sporting function was not different between players reporting groin problems with or without time loss, suggesting the reason for continuing to play is not only related to the severity of symptoms. These findings question the judicious use of the time-loss approach in overuse conditions, such as groin pain in footballers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
Volume30
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)914-921
Number of pages8
ISSN0905-7188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

    Research areas

  • football, groin injury, groin pain, groin problems, sporting function, time-loss

ID: 58720302