In human anatomy, the groin (the adjective is inguinal, as in inguinal canal) is the junctional area between the abdomen and the thighon either side of the pubic bone. This is also known as the medial compartment of the thigh that consists of the adductor muscles of the hip or the groin muscles. A pulled groin muscle usually refers to a painful injury sustained by straining the hip adductor muscles. These hip adductor muscles that make up the groin consist of the adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus, gracilis, and pectineus. These groin muscles adduct the thigh (bring the femur and knee closer to the midline). The groin is innervated by the obturator nerve, with two exceptions: the pectineus muscle is innervated by the femoral nerve, and the hamstring portion of adductor magnus is innervated by the tibial nerve. This difference in innervation has caused some dispute whether or not the pectineus belongs to this groin and adduction group although it adducts the thigh.
In the groin, underneath the skin, there are three to five deep inguinal lymph nodes that play a role in the immune system. These can be swollen due to certain diseases, the most common one being a simple infection, and, less likely, from cancer. A chain of superficial inguinal lymph nodes drain to the deep nodes. In a venography procedure, the groin is the preferred site for incisions to enter a catheter into the vascular system.
The inguinal ligament runs from the pubic tubercle to the anterior superior iliac spine and its anatomy is very important for hernia operations.
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