Just got some bad news: The fullness/heaviness/tugging in the left groin, the burning in the inguinal area upon palpitation or sitting/resting on my back... appears to be a sports hernia (which is NOT a true hernia).
I'm 29 y/o, fit, life-long active person. Was a competitive gymnast when younger, and played competitive soccer (this injury is most prevalent in professional soccer players) player partway into college. These days I cycle (road/cycle-cross style, but not racing), and have gotten back into skiing (expert, done this since 5/6 y/o, but just got back from a 5/6 year break).
In any case, the dr I went to is something of a world-renown expert (she treats many pro athletes in Europe, and some flown in from the U.S.), and she very quickly diagnosed sports hernia via physical exam and high-res ultrasound. She said she could feel the spot (though not a bulge like a typical inguinal hernia) with her finger, and the image shows up in the US. Surgery is tentatively scheduled for Feb 1.
According to her (and I'm sure this is over-optimistic), restrictions are: 20kg (44 lb) day of surgery, return to jogging/cycling 2 days post-op, and dropping of all restrictions (specifically discussed off-piste/tree/powder skiing here in the alps) anytime after post-op days 10 to 14. That doesn't mean I won't have pain, tightness, and weakness... but that I can (and should) return to full activity quickly. This doctor invented her own surgery, based on the Shouldice technique, called the Minimal Repair technique-- non-mesh, and limited to a small area (open surgery, 2 to 4 inch incision). With pro athletes, the regimen for return to full training is post-op day 5.
The main issues I have are that "sports hernia" is a disagreed upon injury, with inconsistencies on what causes it and how to best treat it. Surgery is never taken lightly (it comes with risks and recovery that can last up to a year). She says it'll only get worse, and could become a true inguinal hernia in a couple years (and it's pretty damn consistent that the medical field says true hernias ONLY progress, and ONLY get repaired through surgery).
As is always the case: I find LOTS of praise for this doc and her technique (she only does hernia repair, and she's operated on 12,000 in the last two decades), but a couple of people who claim her procedure didn't work or she wasn't great about follow up problems. And, her repair technique, while it has roots in established procedures, is still relatively new (though near/medium term data suggests it works really, really well).
Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone else has experience with sports hernia (Gilmore's Groin, Sportsman's Groin)? Have you had it repaired surgically (or not)? How quickly could you return to sport? How long did pain persist?
What am I looking at? (In other simple surgies, on relatively non-complicated areas, I've had great recovery, little scarring, and no lasting pain/tenderness/numbness... but this would be a more complicated area to get worked on).
Doc says Feb 1 surgery, back on the slopes (perhaps in pain, but as aggressive as I want) by end of Feb. I'm hoping I can at least take moderate runs by March (even if there's pain/tightness).
This whole thing sucks. And I'm definitely worried about getting surgery at such a young age-- and potentially having life-long issues (or having this cut into my activeness). On the other hand, this surgery is specifically designed to prevent more serious life-long issues and loss of activity...
I'll take moral support too (kinda joking).