Groin pain in soccer players

​The purpose of this project is to establish diagnostic imaging findings in soccer players with hip and groin pain.

Principal investigators: Kristian Thorborg, Sonia Branci

Students involved: Martin Nielsen, Jesper Jensen, Pelle Petersen, Frederik Stensbirk, Michael Munch Madsen, Mads Langelund, Lasse Lundquist.

Principal supervisors: Per Hölmich, Kristian Thorborg

Co-supervisor(s): Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Carsten Thomsen, Michael Boesen

Research initiative:  Per Hölmich, Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Kristian Thorborg

Time frame: 2011-


Hip and groin pain is one the most frequent complaints in male soccer, affecting up to 70 percent of players during a soccer season. Many soccer-related hip and groin injuries present as painful overuse conditions with an insidious onset, involving fluctuating and longstanding symptoms. Diagnostic imaging have so far not been able to specify any common pathology that seem to be related these problems. Other clinical impairments such as hip strength and range of motion have also been suggested to be affected in these patients, and thought to play an important part of the symptomatic picture.


To establish diagnostic imaging findings in soccer players with hip and groin pain, using x-ray, ultrasonography and MR scans, to investigate the associations of these findings in injured players and controls. Furthermore, to look at functional deficits in hip muscle strength and range of motion in relation to hip and groin injury.

Experimental approach

The present project includes 700 soccer players from 40 clubs. These players provide a baseline of both healthy and injured players. If and/or when injured, players are seen for diagnostic imaging and functional testing in a blinded set-up, where also healthy players will be included. Differences between healthy and controls will be investigated in both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies.

Additional information

The project was approved (18 January – 2011) by the Danish National Committee on Health Research Ethics.


Kristian Thorborg
Artroskopisk Center Amager,
Amager Hospital
Italiensvej 1, 2300 København S

Responsible editor