The sportsman's hernia--fact or fiction?
ABSTRACT This review is based on the results of 308 operations for unexplained, chronic groin pain suspected to be caused by an imminent, but not demonstrable, inguinal hernia: the 'sportsman's hernia' (SH). No differences in perioperative findings between cured and non-cured athletes were found. However, there was a remarkable difference between the various perioperative findings in the studies. It was characteristic that further clinical investigation of the noncured, operated athletes gave an alternative and treatable diagnosis in more than 80% of cases. Herniography was used consistently in the diagnostic process in all the studies on SH. However, in 49% of cases hernias were also demonstrated on the opposite, asymptomatic groin side. In conclusion, the final diagnosis (and treatment) often reflects the speciality of the doctor and the present literature does not supply proper evidence to the theory that SH constitutes a credible explanation for chronic groin pain.
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ABSTRACT: Chronic pain of the inguino-crural region or "pubalgia" explains the 0.5-6.2 % of the consultations by athletes. Recently, areas of weakness in the posterior wall called "sports hernias," have been identified in some of these patients, capable of producing long-standing pain. Several authors use different image methods (CT, MRI, ultrasound) to identify the lesion and various techniques of repair, by open or laparoscopic approaches, have been proposed but there is no evidence about the superiority of one over others due to the difficulty for randomizing these patients. In our experience, diagnosis was based on clinical and ultrasound findings followed by laparoscopic exploration to confirm and repair the injury. The present study aims to assess the performance of our diagnostic and therapeutic management in a series of athletes affected by "pubalgia". 1450 athletes coming from the orthopedic office of a sport medicine center were evaluated. In 590 of them (414 amateur and 176 professionals) sports hernias were diagnosed through physical examination and ultrasound. We performed laparoscopic "TAPP" repair and, thirty days after, an assessment was performed to determine the evolution of pain and the degree of physical activity as a sign of the functional outcome. We used the U Mann-Whitney test for continuous scale variables and the chi-square test for dichotomous variables with p < 0.05 as a level of significance. In 573 patients ultrasound examination detected some protrusion of the posterior wall with normal or minimally dilated inguinal rings, which in 498 of them coincided with areas affected by pain. These findings were confirmed by laparoscopic exploration that also diagnosed associated contralateral (30.1 %) and ipsilateral defects, resulting in a total of 1006 hernias. We found 84 "sport hernias" in 769 patients with previous diagnosis of adductor muscle strain (10.92 %); on the other hand, in 127 (21.52 %) of our patients with "sport hernias" US detected concomitant injuries of the adductor longus tendon, 7 of which merited additional surgical maneuvers (partial tenotomy). Compared with the findings of laparoscopy, ultrasound had a sensitivity of 95.42 % and a specificity of 100 %; the positive and negative predictive values were 100 and 99.4 % respectively. No postoperative complications were reported. Only seven patients suffered recurrence of pain (successful rate: 98.81 %); the ultrasound ruled out hernia recurrence, but in three cases it diagnosed tendinitis of the rectus abdominis muscle. Our series reflects the multidisciplinary approach performed in a sports medicine center in which patients are initially evaluated by orthopedic surgeons in order to discard the most common causes of "pubalgia". "Sports hernias" are often associated with adductor muscle strains and other injuries of the groin allowing speculate that these respond to a common mechanism of production. We believe that, considering the difficulty to design randomized trials, only a high coincidence among the diagnostic and therapeutic instances can ensure a rational health care.Hernia 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10029-015-1367-4 · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Adductor dysfunction can cause groin pain in athletes and may emanate from the adductor enthesis. Adductor enthesopathy may be visualized with magnetic resonance imaging and may be treated with entheseal pubic cleft injections. We have previously reported that pubic cleft injections can provide predictable pain relief at one year in competitive athletes who have no evidence of enthesopathy on magnetic resonance imaging and immediate relief only in patients with findings of enthesopathy on magnetic resonance imaging. In this follow-up study, we attempted to determine if the same holds true for recreational athletes. We reviewed a consecutive case series of twenty-eight recreational athletes who had presented to our sports medicine clinic with groin pain secondary to adductor longus dysfunction. A period of conservative treatment had failed for all of these athletes. The adductor longus origin was assessed with magnetic resonance imaging for the presence or absence of enthesopathy. All patients were treated with a single pubic cleft injection of a local anesthetic and corticosteroid into the adductor enthesis. The patients were assessed for recurrence of symptoms at one year after treatment. On clinical reassessment five minutes after the injection, all twenty-eight athletes reported resolution of the groin pain. Fifteen patients (Group 1) had no evidence of enthesopathy on magnetic resonance imaging, and thirteen patients (Group 2) had findings of enthesopathy on magnetic resonance imaging. At one year after the injection, five of the fifteen patients in Group 1 had experienced a recurrence; these recurrences were noted at a mean of fourteen weeks (range, seven to twenty weeks) after the injection. Four of the thirteen patients in Group 2 had experienced a recurrence of the symptoms at one year, and these recurrences were noted at a mean of eight weeks (range, two to nineteen weeks) after the injection. Overall, nineteen (68%) of the twenty-eight athletes had a good result following the injection. Of the remaining nine athletes, two were treated successfully with repeat injection; therefore, overall, twenty-one (75%) of the twenty-eight athletes had a good result after entheseal pubic cleft injection. Most recreational athletes with adductor enthesopathy have pain relief at one year after entheseal pubic cleft injection, regardless of the findings on magnetic resonance imaging. There were similarities between this group of recreational athletes and the competitive athletes in our previous study, in that the adductor enthesis was the source of pain and entheseal pubic cleft injection was a valuable treatment option. The main difference was that, in this group of recreational athletes, magnetic resonance imaging evidence of adductor enthesopathy did not correlate with the outcome of the injection.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 10/2009; 91(10):2455-60. DOI:10.2106/JBJS.H.01675 · 4.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate whether abdominal muscle thickness in athletes with long-standing adduction-related groin pain (LAGP) differs between subgroups with a positive or no response to a pelvic belt. The response to a pelvic belt is defined positive in case of a decrease > or = 1 on a Likert pain scale (0-10) during the squeeze test (SQT) or a decrease > or = 1 on the active straight leg raise (ASLR) test score (0-10). Cross-sectional study. Physical therapy practice. Fifty athletes with LAGP. Squeeze test and ASLR test. First, the effect of a pelvic belt on pain during the SQT and the ASLR test score was evaluated. Then, thickness of m. transversus abdominis (TA) and m. obliquus internus (OI) was measured using ultrasound during rest, ASLR left and right, and SQT. Of the 50 participants, 25 (50%) experienced a decrease in pain during the SQT when wearing a pelvic belt and 10 (20%) improved in ASLR performance with a pelvic belt. Thickness of TA and OI at rest (both cases P > .08) and relative thickness compared with rest during tasks (in all cases P > .12) revealed no significant difference when comparing the 2 subgroups based on the belt response during the SQT or ASLR. Using these methods, abdominal muscle thickness behavior in athletes with LAGP did not differ between the subgroups based on a positive or no response to a pelvic belt. However, the ultrasound method used may not have been sensitive enough to reveal differences between groups.Clinical journal of sport medicine: official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine 01/2010; 20(1):15-20. DOI:10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181c9679f · 2.01 Impact Factor