Athletic injuries of the lateral abdominal wall: review of anatomy and MR imaging appearance

J. Derek Stensby, Jonathan C. Baker, Michael G. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The lateral abdominal wall is comprised of three muscles, each with a different function and orientation. The transversus abdominus, internal oblique, and external oblique muscles span the abdominal cavity between the iliocostalis lumborum and quadratus lumborum posteriorly and the rectus abdominis anteriorly. The lateral abdominal wall is bound superiorly by the lower ribs and costal cartilages and inferiorly by the iliac crest and inguinal ligament. The lateral abdominal wall may be acutely or chronically injured in a variety of athletic endeavors, with occasional acute injuries in the setting of high-energy trauma such as motor vehicle collisions. Injuries to the lateral abdominal wall may result in lumbar hernia formation, unique for its high incarceration rate, and also Spigelian hernias. This article will review the anatomy, the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging approach, and the features and complications of lateral abdominal wall injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Abdominal muscles
  • Abdominal wall
  • Hernia
  • Ribs
  • Sports


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