Pelvic Pain in Women Athletes Better Identified and Managed

Pelvic Pain in Women Athletes Better Identified and Managed

Most pelvic pain in women who participate in sports activities can be identified and managed, even with the challenge of increasing numbers of women athletes and diagnostic possibilities. Advances in understanding of most of the benign musculoskeletal causes have contributed to diagnosis and treatment success.

Meyers and associates conducted a prospective study of women athletes with pelvic pain related to athletic exertion. They considered 3 groups of diagnoses—benign musculoskeletal categories of athletic pubalgia and athletic hip problems (groups A and B, respectively) and other noninjury diagnoses (group C). Diagnoses were based on the history taking and physical examination, with support from new MRI techniques.

Pelvic problems initially suspected to be musculoskeletal were identified in 114 women; 74 turned out to have injuries of the hip or soft tissues surrounding the hip or both, and 40 had other diagnoses. In groups A and B, 40 of 44 patients who chose surgery achieved previous performance levels within 1 year, compared with only 4 of 29 who did not have surgery. Competitive status did not affect the outcomes.

The authors noted that health care professionals should be alert to new concepts of pelvic injury, the various roles for surgery, and the broad list of other considerations.

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