(Iliopsoas Injury)

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Definition Pull or strain of the iliopsoas muscle and tendon.
Details The iliopsoas muscle is a large muscle that begins deep within the pelvis and inserts into the top part of the thigh (femur) bone. Its main function is to flex or bend the hip joint. Therefore, an injury to this muscle is known as a hip flexor injury.
Causes The injury typically occurs when there is a hyperextension of the leg at the hip joint. These injuries can occur with almost any sport. Tackling in football and collisions in soccer when a player is attempting to kick a ball are two examples. Hip flexor injuries can also arise from overuse in sports such as running.
Diagnosis Most often, this injury causes sudden sharp pain in the groin area. Bending or flexing the hip (think of raising your knee to your chest) against resistance increases the pain.

Typically, these injuries are diagnosed by history and physical examination. If the pain is severe or the patient cannot put weight on the affected leg, an x-ray should be ordered to rule out a fracture. Rarely, an MRI scan is needed to fully evaluate the patient.
Treatment Nonoperative: Almost all hip flexor injuries can be treated with rest and a progressive rehabiliation program. This consists of 3-4 days of icing and gentle stretching followed by strengthening. Typically, return to sports occurs in 4-6 weeks depending upon the severity of the injury.

Operative: Very rarely, surgical intervention is needed. These are isolated cases and are best discussed on an individual basis.

Maintaining excellent flexibility and strength of the hip and leg muscles may help prevent some hip flexor injuries.