Sports Hernia FAQ
Is there a difference between a regular hernia and a Sports Hernia?
Yes, a hernia is an opening in the abdominal wall; a Sports Hernia is not an opening; rather a deterioration or tear of the attachments from the pubic structures.
What are other terms for Sports Hernia?
Athletic Pubalgia, Gilmore’s Groin, Inguinal Disruption, Adductor Tendinopathy, Adductor Tear, Aponeurotic Plate Disruption.
Why are Sports Hernias and regular hernias confused?
The public and the media have named the injuries at the pubis “sports hernias” even though they are not truly hernias.
Is a Sports Hernia only an injury of a high performance athlete?
No, anyone regardless of age or gender, can have the injury.
Does a Sports Hernia always need surgery?
No, close to 50% of people heal with rest and physical therapy.
What is the difference between an inguinal hernia and other types?
The word “hernia” merely means opening. Inguinal, umbilical, epigastric, ventral are all terms to describe where the opening exists in the abdominal wall.
Who fixes hernias?
General Surgeons, which has become the name for surgeons who work mostly around the abdominal cavity, repair hernias.
Do all General Surgeons fix sports hernias?
No. Only surgeons who have taken a particular interest in this area perform the repair. Many surgeons do not wish to treat this population as the injury is difficult to treat in many cases.
How does a physician make the diagnosis of sports hernia?
Physical exam by a knowledgeable professional in the injury is the initial test. An ultrasound, and sometimes a specialized MRI are often needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Can the MRI be done anywhere?
If the correct protocol is used by the radiologist/technician, the MRI can be done on most machines. The protocol, known as a Pubalgia Protocol MRI, can be found in the literature.
Is sports hernia surgery laparoscopic?
Although there is some inconsistency, most sports hernia surgeons agree that the surgery is done with an incision in the groin as the area can only be approached in this fashion.
How long is the sports hernia surgery?
Usually the surgery takes 1 to 2 hours.
Is the surgery outpatient?
In almost all cases, the surgery is outpatient, done either in a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center.
How long is the recovery?
Depending on a multitude of factors such as age, one vs. two sides, degree of injury, additional injury such as hip or back, the recovery is usually 2-6 months.
Are crutches needed after surgery?
Unless there is a hip component of the surgery, crutches are not needed.
How effective is the surgery?
Based upon the small amount of literature which exists, results range from 80-97%
How do I find a surgeon who regularly does the surgery?
Unfortunately, few surgeons have dedicated their practice to this injury. The literature and the internet are most helpful in finding a competent surgeon in the field of groin injury.