Sports hernias are not actual hernias but a painful dysfunction involving the groin, also known as the inguinal region or the region of the upper inner thigh. The initial treatment for all sports hernias is non-surgical. The non-surgical treatment consists of rest, cold packs, and anti-inflammatory non-steroidals. Once the pain has dissipated the “sports hernia” is often resolved. Now the athlete can resume the sport.
Professional athletes are more inclined to undergo sports hernia surgery to resolve their hernia than recreational athletes. On the other hand, non-professional athletes, commonly known as recreational athletes, may avoid surgery by competing at a lower level. Another alternative way to avoid surgery is by avoiding the sport altogether or by switching to a sport that is less likely to cause pain.
Comparing all our patients that have sports hernias, only 15 percent of sports hernia patients undergo hernia repair, whereas 85 percent do not undergo hernia surgery. Patients who are more inclined to undergo sports hernia surgery are professional athletes, recreational athletes who refuse to give up their sport, and college athletes who run the risk of losing their athletic college scholarship. Weightlifters are typically more inclined to modify their workout rather than have hernia surgery. Runners and triathletes are more likely to undergo sports hernia surgery.
Since not all general surgeons are trained in sports hernia surgery you are better off consulting a hernia specialist. At the Hernia Center of Southern of Southern California our Board Certified General Surgeons have performed over 12,000 hernia surgeries over the last 25 years.