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Sports hernia

Sports hernias (or athletic pubalgia) are common in sports players.

What is a sports hernia and how can it be treated?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a sports hernia is a soft tissue (muscle, ligament or tendon) injury that can develop in your groin area. You could develop a sports hernia from playing sports that require intense twisting movements or changes of direction. We explore what causes a sports hernia, its symptoms and how a sports hernia can be treated. 


Sports hernias are most common in sportsmen who play golf, rugby, cricket, skiing, running, and track and field events.

This is because the movements that require sportspeople to perform here rely on tendons and softer tissue which can be easily torn or injured during such exercises. 

When a sportsperson engages in these activities, the worn out tissues will not stop a piece of intestine from pushing through around the groin area.

The symptoms of a sports hernia are less apparent than other hernias. Sports hernias generally cause swelling and pain in the affected area.

This can be made worse by sudden movements associated with the above described sports.

The lack of apparent symptoms in sports hernias means that they can easily develop into inguinal hernias, which do have more apparent symptoms.

However, if you suspect that you have a sports hernia, you may be diagnosed by MRI or ultrasound, where our experienced clinicians can quickly diagnose whether or not you have one.

A hernia can be generally treated by hernia repair surgery, either in open surgery or with key-hole surgery (laparoscopically).

Generally, surgeons prefer key-hole surgery as it is quicker, less invasive, and means you can recover quicker. The time between diagnosis and private hernia surgery is often less than a month, ensuring you receive rapid and world-class treatment. 

Laparoscopic surgery for sports hernias

Our laparoscopic surgery requires a few small incisions using a machine controlled by experienced and highly skilled clinicians. You will be placed under general anaesthetic for the procedure.

Using a lightweight, synthetic mesh, our surgeons push the hernia back into the body and cover it in a lightweight synthetic mesh which strengthens the abdominal wall, preventing the hernia from popping out. This technique is referred to as an umbrella hernia repair.

Previous patients who have received this treatment with the mesh have recommended it rather than a manual pulling of the muscles together to heal the weakness, which can be more intrusive.

This less invasive surgery takes 45 minutes from start to finish, and is a day-care case, meaning you can arrive and leave on the day of the surgery.

A consultation with an experienced Consultant is often the quickest and simplest way to diagnose and treat your hernia.

They will be able to talk with you about the best treatment options for your specific situation.

Book an appointment online today.