Have you experienced a sudden, sharp pain in your inner thigh or groin area during a game or workout, leaving you wondering if it’s just a strain or something more serious? This type of pain can be challenging to diagnose and difficult to treat.
But whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, understanding the signs of an adductor tendon avulsion injury could be essential for your recovery—especially since most sports-related injuries like this respond best to surgical treatment.
The good news is that at Anthony Echo, M.D., in Houston, Texas, our board-certified surgeon specializes in diagnosing and treating sports-related groin injuries, including adductor tendon avulsion injuries.
If you’re concerned about thigh or groin pain, keep reading to learn about the symptoms of and treatment for adductor tendon avulsion injuries so you can get the help you need.
Understanding adductor tendon avulsion injuries
Adductor tendon avulsion injuries are especially common in sports that involve sudden movements or intense effort. They occur when the tendon connecting your adductor muscles (the muscles on the inside of your thigh) to your pubic bone is forcefully detached.
Many injuries affecting the inner thigh muscles can create a tendon tear, and the vast majority of cases involve the tendon's complete detachment or avulsion.
Recognizing the symptoms
Early detection is vital for effective treatment and avoiding complications related to adductor tendon avulsion injuries. Here are some of the signs of avulsion to watch out for:
A snapping or popping sound
Often the first sign of this type of injury, this symptom usually happens during a strenuous movement.
Severe pain in the upper inner thigh
This sharp and immediate pain can make it challenging to keep moving.
Bruising or tenderness in the affected thigh
Different degrees of bruising can be a sign of internal damage.
Pain with hip motion
This injury can make moving your hips painful.
Loss of thigh strength
The injury can weaken your thighs, especially when pulling your legs together.
If these symptoms sound familiar, schedule an evaluation with a specialist. Dr. Echo uses MRI imaging of the pelvis, the gold standard for this type of injury, to confirm your diagnosis and plan your treatment.
Treating adductor tendon avulsion injuries
While every case is different, surgery is the best option for most adductor tendon avulsion injuries to ensure a full recovery and return to the game. Dr. Echo discusses your treatment and talks to you in depth about your surgery, but here’s an overview of what you can expect.
First, Dr. Echo “maps” your thigh using an ultrasound machine, marking the major veins, muscles, and other structures. He then makes an incision and moves the detached tendon back to the correct location.
Using bone anchors and large, high-strength sutures, he securely reattaches the tendon to the bone, ensuring a solid repair. Dr. Echo carefully ensures the repair works with the natural force and direction of your thigh muscles.
During your initial recovery, you can expect to avoid weight-bearing activities. You’ll also start physical therapy to rebuild your strength and range of motion. The exact time needed before returning to sport varies, with early or “light” re-entry possible as soon as eight weeks post-op for some patients.
As your body continues to heal, you progress toward full recovery, increasing your endurance and building additional strength. Most patients are cleared to fully return to play 16-24 weeks post-op.
If you recognize the symptoms of adductor tendon avulsion injury or want to discuss your treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Echo in Houston, Texas, today.