Sports Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 261–274 | Cite as

Nerve Entrapment Syndromes as a Cause of Pain in the Hip, Groin and Buttock

  • Paul McCroryEmail author
  • Simon Bell
Injury Clinic


In sports medicine, chronic hip, groin and buttock pain is a common diagnostic problem. Because of the complex anatomy of this region and the many potential neurological causes for pain, few sports clinicians have a detailed understanding of this problem. This paper discusses the clinical aspects of nerve entrapment syndromes related to sport and takes a regional approach in order to provide a diagnostic framework for the general sports physician. The various neurological syndromes are discussed and the surgical management elaborated in detail.

For some specific conditions, such as the so-called ‘piriformis syndrome’, the pathophysiological understanding has changed since the early descriptions and now this particular diagnosis is often ascribed to almost any cause of buttock and/or hamstring symptoms. We discuss the nature of the origin of local symptoms and note that the often described symptoms are more likely due to compression of structures other then the sciatic nerve. Furthermore, the role of piriformis hypertrophy or anatomical nerve variations in the genesis of this syndrome must be questioned. We suggest renaming this the ‘deep gluteal syndrome’ to account for all of the observed phenomena.

As sports medicine continues to develop a scientific basis, the role of nerve entrapments as the basis for chronic symptomatology is undergoing a new understanding and clinicians need to be aware of the diagnostic possibilities and be able to advise patients accordingly on the basis of scientific fact not anecdotal fiction.


Pudendal Nerve Anterior Superior Iliac Spine Nerve Entrapment Obturator Nerve Piriformis Muscle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyOlympic Park Sports Medicine CentreMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsOlympic Park Sports Medicine CentreMelbourneAustralia

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