Hemiorrhaphy for Athletic Pubalgia (Sports Hernia)


Cause / Condition
Groin pain is most commonly caused by muscle and tendon (musculotendinous) strains of the adductor muscles and other muscles crossing the hip joint. It can also be related to abnormalities within the abdominal wall. These abnormalities can include inguinal hernias and microscopic avulsions (tears) of the abdominal rectus muscles and oblique muscles as well.


If a physical exam does not reveal an inguinal hernia, and there is no other cause of the groin pain, the condition is called "athletic pubalgia" or sports hernia.

Athletic pubalgia usually does not heal itself, making surgery the best treatment. If surgery reveals a hernia, the procedure for repair is called a herniorrhaphy.


About the Procedure
Our surgeons perform the procedure using an advanced technique called laparoscopy, making the surgery and any necessary repairs "minimally invasive."


Several small incisions are made in the skin near the area of the hernia to provide entry of tubes which simplify the passage of instruments. A thin telescope-like instrument (laparoscope) is inserted into one of the openings, allowing the surgeon to see clearly where the muscle is damaged. Surgical instruments are inserted into the other openings to accomplish the repair and a "patch" of mesh-like material, held in place with surgical tacks, is used to reinforce the abdominal wall.

Because the laparoscopic repair requires much smaller openings than conventional surgery, it is not necessary to cut through muscle or suture under tension.


Nearly all patients who have laparoscopic hernia repair leave the hospital a few hours after the surgery, but your surgeon will make that determination on an individual basis.


Most patients have significantly less pain after surgery and can return to normal activity, including sports, much sooner. Recovery time for laparoscopic hernia repair is less than one week versus 4-6 weeks for conventional hernia surgery.


Expectations / Experience
The average interval from operation to resumption of full sporting activity is four weeks. However, you can return to most of your normal activities whenever they are comfortable for you. Aerobic exercise, like running,or biking, can usually be resumed in two weeks.


Laparoscopic repair of athletic pubalgia is a precise surgical procedure developed by the MIMIS surgeons and is only performed by a few surgeons world-wide. This innovative surgical technique has allowed our athletic patients (including Olympic competitors) to successfully return to their sport of choice including hockey, soccer, track, marathoning, golf, basketball and others.


Factor Traditional Laparoscopic
Hospital Stay Same day Same day
Pain during recovery Moderate Minimal
Return to work timeframe 4-6 weeks 4-5 days(full sport: 4wks)
Cosmetic results 5" scar 3 tiny incisions

Click here to view the article Back in the Game - New Way to Treat Sports Hernias with Richard Cattey, M.D., General, Vascular and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Columbia St. Mary’s.

For more information on laparoscopic repair of athletic pubalgia (Sports Hernia) contact:

The Milwaukee Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery
Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee
2301 N. Lake Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53211

(800) 377-2673

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