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Sports Hernia

Health Information

What is a sports hernia?

Sports hernias are small, painful hernias that occur as a result of a tear in the abdominal wall. They are common in athletes who participate in sports that involve twisting their leg while running at full speed, such as soccer, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, football and running.

These hernias cannot be detected by physical examination. Most patients will present with persistent groin pain that last for months despite adequate rest. Imaging of the groin with an MRI is generally recommended to exclude other causes of groin pain.

Treating a sports hernia

Patients with consistent symptoms who have persistent discomfort even after an appropriate trial of nonoperative management may benefit from a laparoscopic repair. Patients will undergo a laparoscopic exploration and repair of the hernia if identified.

There are many advantages to choosing a laparoscopic surgery over an open surgical approach, including:

  • Quicker recovery time
  • Decreased length of hospital stay
  • A quicker return to normal activities
  • Fewer incidences of hernia recurrence
  • Fewer infections

With laparoscopic repair, most patients are able to return to athletic training without limitations shortly following repair of their sports hernia.