What Is It?
A sports hernia or core muscle injury (CMI) is a soft tissue injury to the front of the pelvis. It is typically associated with pain across the front of the pelvis and hip. The true abnormality of a sports hernia is thought to be a weakening or defect of the soft tissues such as the abdominal muscle fascia as they insert on the pubic bone of the pelvis. This weakening can be associated with pain along the pubic bone termed “athletic pubalgia”. Unlike other medical hernias, there is not typically a frank tissue opening with the associated bulge or passage of other organs or tissues.
Why does it occur?
No one is sure how a sports hernia arises. In fact, its existence is controversial. Most sports hernias are diagnosed in male contact athletes. Sports hernia may be diagnosed in the setting of hip problems such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).
How is it diagnosed?
A sports hernia is a clinical diagnosis based on a patient’s history of symptoms and a thorough physical exam. A bone scan or MRI scan may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis, although these types of studies are often interpreted as normal. A specialist surgeon should be consulted for an evaluation.
How should it be treated?
Many sports herniae symptoms can be managed nonoperatively. Operative intervention may involve a laparoscopic or open surgical repair of the weakened tissue.
What if I have been treated for a sports hernia and am still having pain?
A sports hernia may be diagnosed in the setting of hip problems such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).
What Are Some of The Risks?
Basic surgical risks include infection, bleeding, and anesthesia. Other risks include damage to normal nerves, blood vessels, and surrounding muscle tissue. This is not an all inclusive list.