Sports Hernia

What is a sports hernia?

The term sports hernia is in fact a misnomer as there is no classical herniation of soft tissue. However, ‘sports hernia’ has been so widely popularised by the media that it is now commonly used by the medical profession, media, and public alike. It is also referred to, and synonymous with, sportsman’s hernia, athletic pubalgia, and Gilmore’s groin, as well as others.

Sports hernia is in fact a poorly understood phenomenon, and as such the exact definition, aetiology, and pathophysiology vary widely throughout the literature. However, essentially, sports hernias involve a set of injuries to the abdominal and pelvic musculature outside of the ball and socket hip joint that cause a weakness of the posterior wall of the inguinal canal. It causes a chronic, activity-related groin pain that rarely responds to non-operative treatment but significantly improves with operative intervention.

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