Anterior inferior iliac spine avulsion

Case contributed by Magdalena Chmiel-Nowak


Sudden onset of right groin pain after kicking while playing football.

Patient Data

Age: 13 years
Gender: Male

An avulsion injury of the right anterior inferior iliac spine is seen.

Avulsion injury of the right anterior inferior iliac spine, with edema within the physeal plate and in the adjacent soft tissues. The origins of both heads of the rectus femoris muscle are intact.

Case Discussion

AIIS avulsion injuries occur usually in adolescents as a result of acute trauma. The AIIS apophysis fuses with the ilium between 16 and 18 years of age, so before that, it is the physeal plate - as the weakest part of the musculotendinous unit - that gets injured from trauma or chronic overuse. The mechanism of the injury is a pull of the straight head of the rectus femoris, which attaches to AIIS, with hip in extension (usually forceful) and knee in flexion (e.g. during kicking or running). Treatment is in most cases conservative.

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