The Case Against Mesh Repair for Sports Hernias

Hernia Surgery ConsultationYou have recurring pain, restricted movement, and you’re on the bench… a lot. What’s wrong with you? Quite possibly a sports hernia. The injury occurs when abdominal muscles tear, which often happens thanks to sharp, twisting movements. Although sports hernias can be difficult to diagnosis, experienced specialists like Dr. Brown work with athletes to create an individualized plan for recovery.

The most common treatment options are rest, physical therapy and sports hernia repair surgery. Many patients choose to undergo surgery to structurally repair the tissue tear, and often surgery is the most efficient treatment. However, when considering sports hernia repair surgery, it’s important to understand the different types of procedures.

One common method of surgically treating a sports hernia is to use mesh to repair the tear. When you think of mesh, you probably think of an old sports jersey or gym bag. Surgical mesh, however, is very different. The medical-grade material is a porous, flexible tool utilized in some repair techniques. While mesh may seem like a viable solution to repair a sports hernia, it can actually have devastating results in the long run.

If mesh is used to repair a sports hernia injury, complications can lead to long-lasting pain and negative results. Mesh can bind to nearby nerve endings, causing chronic and nearly untreatable pain. The material can also create problems by restricting the abilities of the surrounding blood vessels or organs. Mesh can even become stiff from fibrosis, leading to even more damage in the same area already affected by the sports hernia. For those reasons, Dr. Brown strongly recommends against using mesh in any repair surgery unless absolutely required. 

Patients have turned to Dr. Brown looking for a way to recover from a mesh repair operation that has resulted in painful complications. One such patient, after experiencing chronic and debilitating pain from a mesh surgery, says, “Dr. Brown was the first doctor to tell me the mesh could be the source of my pain.” He went on to describe his path back to activity, “My recovery is ongoing, but I can now walk very well again. My recovery, thank God, began the day I met Dr. Brown.”

Mesh isn’t the only way a sports hernia can be repaired surgically, nor has it proven to be the most successful. Dr. Brown uses more traditional Open surgical techniques to repair the tear without using mesh. Patients that undergo sports hernia surgery without mesh receive specialized attention and are often on the path to recovery much faster and without the risk of more severe issues in the future.

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.

Location:
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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