Athletes halve their hip and groin injury time with new facility at Dublin’s Sports Surgery Clinic

Sports Medicine Facility, Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry, Dublin, Ireland


Patients suffering from Athletic Groin Pain are returning to their sport almost 50% quicker after rehabilitating at a new biomechanical facility at Dublin’s Sports Surgery Clinic.


Ground-breaking research reveals that 73% of patients with Athletic Groin Pain return to play at an average of 9 weeks with biomechanical rehabilitation at the clinic. This work, part of a series of 3 papers published by SSC’s Groin Group in the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine shows the fastest published rehabilitation of groin pain patients to date.


This compares with previously published rehabilitation figures of 18.5 weeks return to play for non-surgical, and 14-18 weeks following surgical intervention. SSC’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Department have pioneered the use of 3D Biomechanics (VICON motion capture technology) when treating patients suffering with Athletic Groin Pain since they established the laboratory in 2013.


This technology digitises an athlete’s movement, clearly defines forces through the body and provides new insights into understanding rehabilitation interventions. Data captured in the testing is used by clinicians in their assessment of the patient’s injury and the development of a rehabilitation programme.


SSC Sports Medicine clinicians consist of highly experienced Sports Physicians, Physiotherapists, Strength & Conditioning coaches and Biomechanists who treat over 700 patients suffering with Athletic Groin Pain every year.


They have developed a research database of over 4,000 people affected by Athletic Groin Pain and have collaborated with the University of Roehampton in London, Dublin City University, Science Foundation Ireland and Insight to develop this highly effective new non-surgical rehabilitation pathway.


SSC’s latest research paper ‘Clinical and biomechanical outcomes of rehabilitation targeting intersegmental control in athletic groin pain: prospective cohort of 205 patients’ was published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in March 2018.


What is Athletic Groin Pain?

Athletic Groin pain refers to a group of conditions that present as pain in the hip and groin. They are commonly referred to as Sportsman’s Hernia, Gilmore’s Groin, Adductor Tendinopathy, Athletic Pubalgia and Osteitis Pubis. It is commonly seen in male athletes, especially those involved in multidirectional sports such as soccer (20%), Australian rules (49%), Gaelic football (38%), and Rugby (60%) annually.


Symptoms often develop gradually. Initially, athletes see a decrease in performance with running, cutting, kicking and pain after training. Symptoms gradually worsen until athletes are no longer able to compete.


A current trend is to blame the hip joint and symptoms of femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) for all groin pain – however latest research indicates that is present in almost all footballers, and in many cases, it is the body’s natural response to training load in pre-adolescent years.


Issues around the hip are therefore more often problems we should be attempting to prevent rather than correct once they have occurred. The Groin Lab at SSC has been developing innovative methods of assessment and rehabilitation to improve outcomes of return to play without surgery in this large group of athletes.


SSC Sports medicine

Key Results of SSC Research

73% of athletes undergoing biomechanical rehabilitation at SSC’s Groin Lab return to play after 9 weeks with a biomechanical rather than anatomical approach to rehabilitation.


Current time in GroinLab Rehabilitation is 9.9 weeks (6.2 through 12.6 weeks) before full return to play. This compares to previously published rehabilitation protocols of Hölmich et al (68% RTP, 18.5 weeks) and Weir et al (48% RTP, 17.3 weeks)


It also compares well to the surgical approach for adductor (63%–76% RTP, 14–18 weeks) and pubic pathology (100% RTP, 13–28 weeks) as well as hip arthroscopy (O’Connor et al).


Additional Information

The Groin Lab at SSC is available for all sportsmen and women both in Ireland and internationally. At present it is treating on average 2 to 3 referrals of high profile international athletes every week.


Anyone suffering with Athletic Groin Pain wishing to avail of the facilities at Sports Surgery Clinic can do so by making an appointment by contacting



Three landmark papers published in British Journal of Sports Medicine with highest Impact factor of any Sport Science, Medicine, and Orthopaedic Journal.

  1. ‘Clinical and biomechanical outcomes of rehabilitation targeting intersegmental control in athletic groin pain: prospective cohort of 205 patients’
    King E, Franklyn-Miller A, Richter C, O’Reilly E, Doolan M, Moran K, Strike S, Falvey É.
    Br J Sports Med. 2018 Mar 17
  2. ‘Athletic groin pain (part 2): a prospective cohort study on the biomechanical evaluation of change of direction identifies three clusters of movement patterns.’ Franklyn-Miller A, Richter C, King E, Gore S, Moran K, Strike S, Falvey EC.  Br J Sports Med. 2017 Mar; 51(5):460-468
  3. ‘Athletic groin pain (part 1): a prospective anatomical diagnosis of 382 patients–clinical findings, MRI findings and patient-reported outcome measures at baseline.’ Falvey ÉC, King E, Kinsella S, Franklyn-Miller A.  Br J Sports Med. 2016 Apr;50(7):423-30.


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