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Get Back in the Game Faster after Sports Hernia with this Innovative Repair

If you’re an athlete suffering from groin pain that appears during even slight movements like sneezing or coughing, you may have what’s known as a sports hernia. Sports hernias result because of a weakening in the lower abdominal wall, called the inguinal canal, and can have you sitting on the sidelines for weeks or even months.

At Anthony Echo, MD, board-certified surgeon Dr. Anthony Echo helps patients suffering from a sports hernia get back in the game faster. At his two offices in Houston, Texas, Dr. Echo diagnoses this tricky condition and performs specialized surgery using the Muschaweck Repair process, a surgical technique that allows for a less painful, faster recovery. 

Sports hernia 101

A sports hernia, or core muscle injury, is a soft tissue injury that causes pain and pressure due to torn tendons in your groin area. While anyone can develop this injury, it’s more common in athletes who play sports that require fast, sudden changes of direction or twisting motions.  

Symptoms of a sports hernia include:

Men may feel pain from a sports hernia in the testicles. 

What’s the difference between a sports hernia and a hernia?

A hernia is a condition that results when part of an organ becomes displaced and protrudes through the wall of the cavity that houses it. For example, an inguinal hernia occurs when tissue that should remain in the abdominal cavity, like your intestines, protrude through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. 

A sports hernia, on the other hand, does not involve the protrusion of organs through the abdominal wall, though it may lead to an inguinal hernia if not treated. Instead, sports hernias (athletic pubalgia) result because of weakened abdominal muscles in the inguinal floor, the area in your abdomen constructed of solid muscle and tendon. When these tendons become overused, they may stretch or tear, and a sports hernia results.      

Who is at risk for developing a sports hernia?

The people at greatest risk for sports hernias are athletes, although it is possible for anyone to develop the condition. 

High-performance athletes who engage in high-impact activities that extensively use the lower extremities and core muscles have the highest risk. Players in the following sports tend to have the most cases of sports hernias:

This type of injury is far more common in male athletes than in female athletes, though women can develop sports hernias.     

Treating a sports hernia

Treatment of a sports hernia begins with an accurate diagnosis of the condition. Unlike a hernia, which causes a palpable bulge whether or not you’re in motion, sports hernias often require imaging studies to accurately diagnose. 

Dr. Echo has extensive experience diagnosing sports hernias to ensure you get the right treatment for your pain. After discussing your medical history and symptoms, Dr. Echo performs a physical exam and diagnostic imaging. 

At Anthony Echo, MD, our team uses dynamic ultrasound to identify any bulging that may occur while you’re active. Sometimes, Dr. Echo may also order a special MRI that evaluates muscles and tendons in the inguinal region where the suspected sports hernia occurs. 

Once your condition is accurately diagnosed, Dr. Echo creates a customized treatment plan for your sports hernia. This may include surgical repair using the Muschaweck Repair technique. 

Understanding Muschaweck Repair (minimal repair technique)

The Muschaweck Repair allows Dr. Echo to permanently strengthen the inguinal floor while using his expertise in peripheral nerve surgery to address the nerves responsible for your grain pain. 

Dr. Echo is currently one of the few US surgeons who utilizes the  Muschaweck Repair technique. Combined with his expertise in peripheral nerve surgery, Dr. Echo is uniquely qualified to provide excellent results designed to get you back in the game faster. 

Because the muscles are not over-tightened and Dr. Echo removes the nerve causing the pain, your recovery is faster and less painful. In addition, the procedure has no impact on sexual sensation, ensuring your sex life isn’t affected after surgery. 

If you suspect you may have a sports hernia, don’t wait to contact Anthony Echo, MD, at one of our Houston locations to learn more about expert diagnosis and repair of this troublesome condition. You can also request an appointment online now.

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