Groin/hip injuries occur frequently in the athletic population, particularly in sports requiring kicking, twisting, turning and rapid acceleration and deceleration. Chronic hip, buttock and groin pain make up 10% of all attendances to sports medicine centres. Understanding risk factors for field-based sports (FBS) players is important in developing preventive measures for injury. The objective of this systematic review was to identify and examine the evidence for groin/hip injury risk factors in FBS. 14 electronic databases were searched using keywords. Studies were included if they met the inclusion criteria and investigated one or more risk factors with relation to the incidence of groin/hip injuries in FBS. Studies were accumulated and independently analysed by two reviewers under a 12-point quality assessment scale (modified CASP (for cohort study design) assessment scale). Because of the heterogeneity of studies and measures used, a meta-analysis could not be conducted. As a result risk factors were pooled for analysis and discussion. Of the 5842 potentially relevant studies, 7 high-quality studies were included in this review. Results demonstrated that previous groin/hip injury was the most prominent risk factor, identified across four studies (OR range from 2.6 (95% CI 1.1 to 6.11) to 7.3, (p=0.001)), followed by older age (OR 0.9, p=0.05) and weak adductor muscles (OR 4.28, 95% CI 1.31 to 14.0, p=0.02) each identified in two studies. Eight other significant risk factors were identified once across the included studies.
This study identified 11 significant risk factors for groin/hip injury for FBS players. The most prominent risk factor observed was previous groin/hip injury. Future research should include a prospective study of a group of FBS players to confirm a connection between the risk factors identified and development of groin/hip injuries.