It’s Complicated!

Complicated Diagnosis Process Affects Sports Hernia Patients

There is no lack of cases in which an athlete suffers from sharp, persistent pain in the groin area that no doctor seems to be able to diagnose. Athletes are told it’s a strained muscle, a torn ligament, hyper-tension or a sprain. But one they most likely have not heard of is a sports hernia. Why? Because many doctors aren’t aware there is such a condition.

Sports hernias are much more common than many physicians believe, and they can be tricky to diagnose—but they’re real. And the pain and debilitation is real, too. This pain can affect the lower abdomen, groin, thigh, or for men, the testicles. It intensifies when playing, and can disrupt daily life.

Here are a few reasons why sports hernias can be tough to diagnose:

The Visual Aid. Sports hernias don’t present like a regular hernia. Sometimes there’s…

Muscle Strain or Sports Hernia?

When it’s Time to See a Hernia Specialist

sports hernia or muscle strain?

If you’re an athlete with a persistent pain in your lower abdomen, groin, thigh, or for men, testicles, don’t automatically think it’s just a muscle strain or some other injury. Especially if the pain flares up again when you are playing.

You may be suffering from a Sports Hernia.

Do you feel it particularly when you cough, sneeze or lift something heavy? Is the pain only on one side? Does the pain prevent you from playing your best or playing at all? If so, these are classic symptoms of a Sports Hernia.

A Sports Hernia is an entirely different issue than a regular hernia. Sports Hernias are caused by the repetitive twisting, turning, and quick movements that many sports require—and they occur when a tendon, a muscle, or a ligament in the lower abdomen or groin tears.

Even athletes in great shape…

Tennis Anyone?

The Hernia Guide for Tennis Players

Tennis players are aware that common injuries of their game can include rotator cuff tears, stress fractures, ankle sprains, patellar tendonitis, and of course, tennis elbow. But tennis can also cause another very painful—albeit lesser-known—injury: the Sports Hernia.

What is it, exactly? And how is it different than a regular hernia?

A regular hernia happens when intestines push through a hole in the muscles.  The resulting bulge that can become painful.

However, a Sports Hernia occurs when there is a tear of adductor longus tendon or a tear of one of the oblique muscles.  These tears develop from sheer forces that high-intensity and twisting movements develop.  High level tennis players are prone to this type of injury.

Why are tennis players at risk of a Sports Hernia?

Tennis is one of the biggest triggers for Sports Hernias because of the repetitive twisting and turning…

Do You Have an Adductor Longus Tendon Injury?

Treating an Adductor Longus Tendon Injury

If you ask a friend for advice about an adductor longus tendon injury, you’ll probably be told to “put some ice on it.” Ask a specialist, but that ice will not be enough. An injury to the adductor longus tendon is similar to a sports hernia, as it is also not very well known and requires expert care.

A sports hernia involves sheer stress across the pelvis with sports that involve acceleration and cutting. During these activities the adductors contract to move the thigh, but the abdominal muscles contract at the same time to support the pelvis. This results in a tug of war between the adductors and the abdominal muscles with the pelvic bone in the middle.  Usually one of the abdominal muscles tear first, but occasionally one of the adductors is injured.  Because of its position, the adductor longus is usually the…

Addressing the Gender Gap in Sports Hernias

Sports Hernia is an Equal Opportunity Injury

Sports injuries happen to the best, and most fit of us, from professional athletes to neighborhood softball league stars. Sometimes, they’re benign like a sprain or a pulled muscle. But other times, an injury is more complex, such as a sports hernia. Deep tissue tears resulting from sharp movements, diagnosed as sports hernias, affect athletes of all ages, sizes and skill levels. And sports hernias are gender neutral. They affect both men and women.

 A sports hernia is less common than many other injuries, and even professionals have difficulty pinpointing one. In the simplest possible terms, a sports hernia happens when there is a tear in the abdominal muscles. It affects the groin and lower trunk area, which is part of the “core” that keeps us stable. Unlike a traditional hernia, it doesn’t cause a hole in the abdominal wall. However, this can also…

Think You Have a Sports Hernia?

Warning Signs: It Might Be a Sports Hernia

Pain, bruising and restricted movement are all warning signs of a sports hernia, but are often attributed to other injuries. Sometimes, minor symptoms can seem easy to ignore. But a sports hernia won’t go away on its own, so it’s critical to pay attention to the warning signs and seek treatment early. Don’t delay when it comes to seeking out an expert opinion from a sports hernia specialist. Early diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between a quick return and a season spent on the sidelines.

So, when should you consider seeing a sports hernia specialist? Here are a few warning signs:

  1. Sharp pain. Sports hernias happen when muscles in the lower abdominal area tear. This can cause pain when those muscles are used. The pain is usually sharp, although it can be hard to pinpoint its source. Twisting or quick…

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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