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What Is a Groin Hematoma?

Sports-related injuries are a common cause of groin hematomas.
Icing a groin hematoma is part of the typical treatment plan.
Groin hematomas may appear as small bruises.
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  • Written By: Amanda McMullen
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 07 August 2014
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A groin hematoma is a collection of blood that forms outside of the blood vessels in the area of the groin. Hematomas in the groin can be under a few layers of skin, or they might develop in the muscular tissue. This condition typically occurs when there has been damage to the wall of a blood vessel that caused blood to leak into the surrounding tissue. Groin hematomas vary in size from small bruises to large, swollen masses.

Large hematomas of the groin occur when the damage to the blood vessel was severe enough to slow or prevent the blood from clotting. A hematoma also might be large if the trauma occurred in a vessel that contains more pressure, such as a major artery. The blood that forms a hematoma is irritating to the tissue around it, thus causing it to become inflamed. The inflammation typically causes redness, pain and swelling in a localized area around the site of the trauma.

The most common cause of a groin hematoma is trauma to the groin area. Traumas that might cause hematomas include falls, broken bones, gunshot wounds and car accidents. Many hematomas of the groin, however, occur following surgeries that involve the groin area, such as cardiac catheterization. Groin hematomas also occur frequently after sports-related groin injuries. Finally, a hematoma might occur in the groin because of an aneurysm or a weakened area in a blood vessel's wall.

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The treatment for a groin hematoma typically consists of elevation, ice, rest and compression. If the individual is experiencing pain, treatment might also include an over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The type of pain medication prescribed depends on the circumstances of the patient. Patients who take anticoagulants have a higher risk of complications because the medication prevents their blood from clotting efficiently, so they usually cannot take ibuprofen, which might cause gastrointestinal bleeding. On the other hand, patients who have liver disease cannot take acetaminophen, because of the risk that it poses to the liver.

Most groin hematomas repair themselves with proper medical treatment. Nonetheless, sometimes an individual might acquire an infection at the site of the injury. The hematoma retains no supply of fresh blood and antibodies, so bacteria might colonize in the area. An infected groin hematoma typically is treated with antibiotics.

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