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ADDUCTOR INJURY

40% of patients diagnosed with Gilmore’s Groin also have torn adductors. Minor and moderate tears usually respond to adductor exercises and physiotherapy. Patients with severe adductor (muscle) tears usually require adductor tenotomy (division of tendon) or release. 

An adductor strain is a common problem amongst athletes and sportsmen and women.

The adductor muscle can be injured when there is a forced push off or if the leg is taken forcefully out to the side. Very high forces can be put through the adductor muscles and tendons when an athlete suddenly changes direction or in jumping and overstretching. Most strains will settle without an operation.

Sometimes what may happen is that the adductor tendon becomes repeatedly injured and becomes thickened and rigid. This can also happen if it tears and heals badly. In these cases the muscle underneath the tendon is prevented from moving smoothly. In particular if the muscle contracts very suddenly the rigid tendon prevents the muscle contracting properly and the muscle itself tears.

If this happens then an adductor tenotomy may be needed. 

If you exerience the following you should get yourself checked:

  • Tightness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Sudden sharp pains (this may escalate depending on the severity of the tear)
  • Pain caused while stretching
  • Discomfort while walking or moving

Adductor tenotomy is the term used to describe a surgical cutting of the adductor tendon, not the muscle itself. at the same time any scar tissue (adhesions) is divided and the underlying muscle is freed. The operation is performed at the top of the inner thigh where the tendon attaches to the pubic bone. Cutting the tendon and freeing up the muscle allows the muscle to contract freely and normally without tearing.

After the operation you can get quite a bruise in the thigh. The scar is always numb and can be quite thick for a few months as the scar tissue forms and then settles. Wound infection is rare and occurs in less than 1% of people. In addition, there are some potential complications that can be associated with any general anaesthetic, these include nausea and vomiting, sore throat and headache as well as blood clots in the legs and lungs. All these are very rare with modern anaesthesia, early mobilisation and discharge.

Following surgery, you will need to do some exercises to strengthen the adductor muscle again.  Professional sportsmen and women will have access to a physiotherapist and can often be back to normal in less than 6 weeks. Most people follow the programme on their own, in their own time and so full recovery may be longer. If you had a bigger tear or it had been present for a longer time (more than 6 months) recovery may take longer. Also, it seems that people over the age of 40 take a little longer to recover fully.

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