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Groin Pain Associated With Lower Lumbar Disc Herniation

Yukawa, Yasutsugu, MD*; Kato, Fumihiko, MD*; Kajino, Gakuji, MD; Nakamura, Shigeru, MD; Nitta, Hiroyuki, MD

Diagnostic Assessment

Study Design. Retrospective clinical and magnetic resonance imaging study of patients with groin pain associated with lower lumbar disc herniation.

Objectives. To demonstrate the clinical features and magnetic resonance imaging findings of these patients.

Summary of Background Data. Patients with lumbar disc herniation sometimes report groin pain. Little mention has been made, however, regarding the clinical features of groin pain stemmed from lower lumbar disc herniation until now, with only Murphey referring to groin pain in disc disease.

Methods. A total of 512 patients were diagnosed with singular lower lumbar disc herniation (L4-L5 and L5-S1) at Kakegawa City General Hospital between July 1990 and December 1993. Of these patients, 21 (4.1%) reported groin pain. The characteristic clinical features and magnetic resonance imaging findings of the 21 patients were investigated and compared with the features and findings of patients with no groin pain.

Results. Patients with groin pain had a higher mean age and lower rate of low back pain, and L4-L5 discs were more likely to be involved than L5-S1 discs. In their magnetic resonance images, herniation tended to be more central than in patients with no groin pain.

Conclusions. Elderly patients with L4-L5 protruding herniation of the anulus fibrosus were most likely to experience groin pain. The sinuvertebral nerve that innervates the posterior anulus fibrosus, the posterior longitudinal ligament, and the dura was indicated as the afferent nerve of groin pain.

From the *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chubu Rosai Hospital, Nagoya, Japan, and the †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kakegawa City, General Hospital, Kakegawa, Japan.

Acknowledgment date: April 18, 1996.

First revision date: July 17, 1996.

Second revision date: December 31, 1996.

Acceptance date: February 17, 1997.

Address reprint requests to: Yasutsugu Yukawa, MD; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery; Chubu Rosai Hospital; 1-10-6 Komei, Minato-ku; Nagoya 455; Japan.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.