Core muscle injuries (CMI) are common in every sport. To minimize lost playing time, providers apply various nonsurgical treatments, including platelet-rich plasma, corticosteroids, ultrasound (US)-guided percutaneous tenotomy, and prolotherapy. Limited data exist with regard to their effectiveness. We chose to review a cohort of consecutive professional and collegiate athletes who sustained CMI at various points within their seasons and underwent a combination of US-guided percutaneous needle “tenotomy” and corticosteroid injections to complete the remainder of their seasons.
Twenty-five consecutive collegiate or professional athletes with CMI involving the rectus abdominis–adductor aponeurotic plate were included in this retrospective study. Athletes with concomitant symptomatic hip femoroacetabular impingement were included in the study. The primary outcome measure was whether athletes completed their seasons. Secondary measures were weeks played after the procedures (delay until surgery), need for repeat procedures, and outcomes after eventual surgery. Postoperative performance was assessed via interviews at 6 wk and 6 months postoperatively.
Twenty-one of 25 (84%) athletes completed their seasons. On average, athletes returned to play 3 d (range, 1–9 d) after the procedures. Surgical repair was delayed a mean of 18 wk (range, 2–44 wk). Seven athletes had concomitant symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement and six underwent combined hip arthroscopy and core muscle repairs. Among 17 patients who eventually had core muscle surgery alone (no hip surgery), 82% (14 of 17) reported performing at their preinjury level at 6 wk. At 6 months, 96% of postop athletes (22 of 23) reported performing at their preinjury level.
Temporizing CMI with US-guided percutaneous tenotomy and corticosteroid injections is effective in allowing continued sport participation among high-level athletes and does not negatively affect postoperative outcomes.