Is Sports Hernia Surgery the Right Choice For Minors?

sports-hernia-surgery-for-minorsInjuries are often the last thing on a child or teenager’s mind, so when something serious does occur, it can be hard for them and parents to handle. Sports hernia injuries, in particular, are actually more common than one might think in children and young adults. A sports hernia can result from a combination of weak muscles and a triggering movement, like a sharp twist or lifting a heavy object. Symptoms include pain and a stretching or pulling feeling in the lower abdomen or groin. The pain is often debilitating enough to sideline the young athlete.

If a sports hernia does strike, knowing the correct steps to take toward recovery is essential to getting kids back to the sport they love. There are two options on the table to treat sports hernias: physical therapy and surgery. While physical therapy may seem like a gentler, more youth-friendly approach, often it does not fully repair the injury, which increases the odds of re-injury later in life. Surgery can get to the root of the problem much quicker and aid a faster (and full) recovery.

However, while surgery can be a reasonable treatment option for adults, it can be a tricky decision to make when a minor is the patient. Sports hernia surgery for minors is not without some risk, and the recovery period can set children and teens back weeks. Even with these issues, sports hernia surgery is still an extremely viable treatment option for younger patients. Children’s bodies are still growing and able to adapt more easily to change, which makes surgery a less intimidating prospect.

On the other hand, rest and physical therapy should not be counted out either. Rest is essential to recovery, and can help ease pain immediately after the injury occurs. Surgery or not, physical therapy should always be a part of a recovery plan. It helps strengthen weaker core muscles that helped cause the injury and increases flexibility, both of which helps to ensure that the sports hernia will not be re-aggravated. Therapy can also help a child recover from surgery and regain the skills used in their sport.

Surgery can often seem a daunting and undesirable option to treat sports hernias in minors, but in reality it is a safe and effective choice. When deciding if it is right for your child, it is also important to choose an experienced and knowledgeable surgeon in the field. Different doctors often have different approaches, including both the open repair and mesh techniques. Surgeons also have different degrees of experience, especially when it comes to operating on younger patients. Knowing your options and your surgeon is essential to making a decision whether or not sports hernia surgery is the right choice for your child.