A hernia is a protrusion of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it. This can occur in men, women, and children. There are five main types of hernia: inguinal, incisional, femoral, umbilical, and diaphragmatic. Hernias often occur when pressure in the compartment of the residing organ is increased and the boundary is weak or weakened. The propensity of hernias is often age related and can run in families, but it can also be caused by other illnesses such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfan syndrome. Conditions that increase abdominal pressure such as obesity, straining during a bowel movement or urination, chronic lung disease, and fluid in the abdominal cavity can lead to hernias. Hernias often happen in the abdomen, the cranium, and the spine. Hernias can be caused by a wide array of triggers, but depend of the individual case as well as the type of hernia.
In contrast, a sports hernia affects the pubic joint of athletes such as football and hockey players. It is a syndrome characterized by chronic groin pain in athletes and a dilated superficial ring of the inguinal canal. Athletes are required to twist, turn, and run at high speeds. Considering this, it is no surprise that sports hernias often occur to high school, college, and professional athletes. An athlete who has damaged one of the core muscles in the lower abdomen or pelvis will experience a great deal of pain when trying to bend or rotate the area. Additionally, he or she will feel a lot of tenderness when the area is probed and examined by a physician.
When a hernia is discovered, it is not immediately operated on. Indeed, many times the best course of action is not to operate on a hernia. Instead, it is best to monitor the hernia to see if it grows larger or more obtrusive. However, the only permanent fix for hernias is surgery. Yet, based on the individual patient, hernia surgery may be too risky. Surgery for hernias works by securing the weakened wall tissue. Any holes are plugged in, usually with medical cloth. This surgery can be performed with traditional open surgery or through the use of a laparoscope. This will require less recovery time and be less invasive for the patient.
Sports hernia must first be examined by a doctor to determine the full scope of the problem. Patients are encouraged to rest, ice the area, and attend physical rehabilitation. However, this often is not enough to fix the condition. An MRI scan will show the extent of the tears in the muscle insertions and if laparoscopic hernia surgery is required.
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