Relations of the neck of groin hernias to pubic tubercle

Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.
Nigerian journal of clinical practice (Impact Factor: 0.53). 06/2009; 12(2):157-61.
Source: PubMed


The traditional anatomical and surgical teaching is that any hernia with the neck above and medial to the pubic tubercle are inguinal. Present day surgical authors and teachers mostly adhere to this teaching but observe a difference in this relationship in clinical demonstrations. This confuses most medical students and surgical residents. This all-important clinical teaching should hence be revisited. Hence this study was to ascertain and validate clinically the true relationship of pubic tubercle and the neck of groins hernia.

Aprospective observational study.
Surgical Outpatient Clinic of Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa Unit of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Nigeria.
Consecutive patients seen in the clinic with uncomplicated groin hernias were studied from January 1993 to December 2004. Examinations were done to ascertain the relationship of the groin hernias to the pubic tubercle.
96.8% of inguinal hernias have their necks above and lateral to pubic tubercle while all femoral hernia had their necks below and lateral to the pubic tubercle.
Location above or below the pubic tubercle should be used as the sole difference between femoral and inguinal hernias in clinical demonstrations. More observations and inguinal dissections will be necessary for further clarification.

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