Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Mary Beth Zwart


Femoroacetabular impingement, labral tear, sports hernia, hip, college football player


Objective: To present a diagnosis and rehabilitation plan for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI), labral tear, and sports hernia in a Division I college football player. Background: A 21-year-old NCAA Division I college football player experienced a rare combination diagnosis of hip FAI, labral tear and sports hernia. Overlapping signs and symptoms proved difficult to conclude a diagnosis. The patient underwent three months of conservative treatment with no relief before electing to undergo surgery. Differential Diagnosis: Hip flexor strain, osteitis pubis. Treatment: A combination of conservative treatment such as activity modification, anti-inflammatories, therapeutic modalities, injections, and rehabilitation were unsuccessful in relieving symptoms the patient experienced. A diagnosis was established through the use of x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Due to failed conservative treatment, surgery was completed by a regional hip specialist and sports hernia specialist. After the procedure, the patient completed six months of rehabilitation under the specifications underlined in the surgeon’s protocol. Uniqueness: Though FAI and labral tears commonly occur together, sports hernias do not routinely occur in addition to both previously mentioned injuries. Present research does not show MRIs being successful in diagnosing a sports hernia, which was not the case with this patient. In addition, recurrent groin pain regularly associated with sports hernias was infrequently present with this patient. Conclusion: The present case is an example of the difficulties found in diagnosing injuries with overlapping signs and symptoms as well as the importance of diagnostic imaging. Failed efforts with conservative treatment lead to surgical intervention. After six months of rehabilitation, the patient returned to all football related activities with no occurrence of previous signs and symptoms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sports injuries -- Diagnosis.
Sports injuries -- Treatment.
Football players.
College athletes.
Hip joint -- Wounds and injuries.
Hip joint -- Surgery.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright