Sharks' Erik Karlsson Draws Attention to Injuries at the Groin

Pain in Erik Karlsson's groin area has highlighted one of the most common ice hockey injuries.

But it is not always a simple muscle fatigue. Sports medicine experts say that pain in the groin is difficult to diagnose and treat because it can signal variable problems.

A groin injury "is a generic term for pain" in the pelvis and hip area, said Travis G. Maak, Utah's jazz team physician and professor. Associate of Orthopedics at the University of Utah. "It's not really a diagnosis, in itself."

Karlsson's health was one of the major stories in the Sharks' first playoff series against the Golden Knights of Vegas. Many might assume that Karlsson, 28, has recovered from his thigh muscles to allow him to play at full power in the series. After all, Karlsson looked good in the initial win and the second game defeat.

Since Sharks officials do not reveal more than basic medical information, questions about Karlsson's condition can not be addressed specifically. All we know is what he told reporters: "It should not be an injury that would affect my short term or my long term," said the star defender. Karlsson added that an injury to the groin on February 26 was different from the one he had suffered in mid-January.

In all, he missed 29 of the 82 regular-season Sharks games this season. But Karlsson seemed confident of being able to play high-level playoff games. That 's why the Sharks brought him to San Jose as part of a preparatory transaction with the Ottawa Senators.

"From the beginning, we made sure we knew exactly what it was, how it was going to be, and so far everything went as planned," Karlsson said about the second injury.

Nirav Pandya, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of San Francisco, described the groin area as "one of the most frustrating areas of the body to heal" because the pain could be the result of muscle fatigue, tearing or injury to the hip. .

According to Maak, the most common diagnoses associated with groin pain are femoroacetabular impingement, which involves hip bone problems, muscular and tendon strains inside the thigh and tendonitis of the flexor of the hip.

Injuries such as those of Karlsson are usually tearing of the muscle tendons caused by pressure on the thighs when they wring violently when fighting for the puck or when they quickly change direction while skating. Sudden movements on the ice make hockey players particularly vulnerable to strains of muscles and tendons that are attached to the bones of the pelvis and femur.

The internal muscles of the thigh, called adductors, pull the legs towards the body, while the abductor muscles located on the outside of the thigh have the opposite role.

The interaction between the two muscle groups is important for hockey players, said Michael Alaia, a surgeon at Langone Medical Center at New York University, who has worked with the New York Islanders and New York Jets. .

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