Dr. Brown’s Approach

I am a surgeon who specializes in the Advanced Treatment of Inguinal Hernias, of Sports Hernias, and Mesh Complications. I have been repairing hernias for over 30 years. Those years have provided me the experience to give you expert advice and treatment. I have taken care of Athletes with Sports Hernias since 1999. And, I have taken Mesh out longer than I care to remember.

The Egyptians talked about hernias in the Ebers Papyrus, which dates to 1550 BCE. One would think that if we have known about hernias for the last 3500 years that there would be no more questions about the treatment of hernias. Unfortunately, that assumption would be wrong. If you consult with three different surgeons, you will get three different opinions. Of course, I always have the right answers.

The controversy about inguinal hernias revolves around a mesh repair or a pure tissue repair and an open repair versus a laparoscopic repair. NO MESH HERNIA REPAIR

Sports Hernias are even more controversial. Many Surgeons do not believe that the injury is real. And tell the Athlete that they have a groin strain and to go away. What is worse is that when the Athlete finally gets an operation, it is often the incorrect operation. SPORTS HERNIA

Mesh is a subject that gives me gray hair. Most surgeons repair hernias with mesh. Using mesh is a fast and easy to repair a hernia. But those same surgeons have little understanding of what happens to mesh in the body and the problems it causes. And worse, those same surgeons do not know how to treat mesh complications. MESH PAIN

Do not hesitate to contact Dr. Brown

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Understanding the Often Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed Sports Hernia

A Sports Hernia is probably the least understood of all the injuries that affect professional level and collegiate level Athletes. A Sports Hernia is a tear to the oblique muscles or an injury to the hip adductors. Unlike a traditional hernia, the Sports Hernia does not create a hole in the abdominal wall, and there is no associated bulge. A lack of a bulge confuses most physicians, and the Athlete does not get the appropriate treatment. It is not uncommon for one of Dr. Brown’s patients to have seen four or five other consultants before seeing him. The Athlete told that he/she the diagnosis of a groin strain, and the Athlete is advised to rest and that the problem will go away. Unfortunately, the pain and weakness of a Sports Hernia will recur as soon as the Athlete returns to playing his/her sport. It is critical for the physician to understand the underlying issues surrounding Sports Hernias to avoid unnecessary delays in diagnosis and treatment. Assume that any Athlete who suffers chronic groin pain that is aggravated by sports and is relieved by rest has a Sports Hernia.

How Do Sports Hernias Occur?

A Sports Hernia occurs when the muscles in the inguinal region or groin are injured or torn, resulting in weakness and pain. Look at the image below and visualize the anatomy in your mind. The Rectus abdominis muscle and the Oblique muscles attach to the superior aspect of the pubic bone. When the Rectus abdominis contracts, the pubic bone is pulled up. When the Oblique muscles contract, the pubic bone is pulled upward and to the side. The Adductor longus muscle attaches to the inferior aspect of the pubic bone just below the attachments of the Rectus abdominis and the Oblique muscles. When the Adductor longus contracts, the pubic bone is pulled down. When the abdominal muscles (Rectus abdominis and the oblique muscles) and Adductor longus muscles contract at the same time, there is a tug-of-war with the pubic bone in the middle. The adductor muscles are stronger than the abdominal muscles. The Adductor usually wins the tug of war and the Rectus abdominis and the oblique muscles to tear. Occasionally the Abdominal muscles win, and the adductor tendon will tear. And rarely the pelvic bone will be injured at the pubic symphysis resulting in osteitis pubis.

Sports Hernias can occur in all levels of Athletes from the weekend warrior to the professional Athlete. Sports that involve making extreme and repeated twisting-and-turning movements are most susceptible to the injury. 

Many doctors in the United States do not believe that a Sports Hernia is a real injury. Most insurance companies use that fact to deny payment for Sports Hernia surgery. Recently the English Hernia Society published a consensus statement based on the testimony of the experts stating that a Sports Hernia is a real injury. And that with appropriate treatment, the Athlete can return to his/her sport. Please click here to read their consensus statement. Hopefully, this strong statement by the British Hernia Society will lead to better understanding in the United States by physicians and insurance companies.

Be sure to contact Dr. Brown for additional information.

Muscle attachments

William Brown, MD
Hernia Specialist

Dr. Brown has been repairing inguinal hernias for over 30 years, taking care of Athletes with Sports Hernia injuries since 1999.  Dr. Brown has been taking care of patients with complications from mesh for so long that his hair is gray. Luckily he still has some hair.

His patients include players from the San Jose Sharks and the San Jose Earthquakes as well as athletes from the NFL, AFL, NBA, and the local college teams. As well as Athletes from 15 foreign countries.

Fremont Office
William H. Brown, M.D.
39470 Paseo Padre Pkwy
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 793-2404
Fax: (510) 793-1320

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