I just stumbled on this forum post after doing some (seemingly perpetual) research on groin pain/sport hernias. I figured I'd share my experiences with diagnosing and treating a sports hernia:
I am a 27 year old male, active duty U.S. Marine, lean, fit, 6'0, about 175lbs, and was very active leading up to the injury. No prior hernias and no major lower body injuries/traumas other than a motorcycle crash a few years back to the opposite side of my sports hernia. Not an athlete of any specific sport, really just a runner, weightlifter, and functional combat fitness athlete. Although, admittedly my lower body is not very strong in comparison to my core and upper body.
(For those who care, months are pretty much accurate; As for days....probably factor in a +/- week or two.)
Dec 5, 2015: Initial (suspected) Injury
-I was dared to sky dive from the hull of an SR-71 while chugging a fifth of bourbon, smoking a Cuban, and wrestling a rhinoceros during the free fall.....or perhaps I went for a leisurely skate around the local ice rink with my wife......cant remember which.....Any ways I had also not been weight lifting for about a year before the injury due to training limitations and had resumed a few weeks prior as well. So my injury was either an acute injury sustained during a fall at the ice rink..er, skydiving....or from jumping back into weightlifting too quickly. My money is on one particular fall I took during skating that more or less forced adduction of my left leg to its limit with my entire body weight.
Dec 17, 2015: First Doctor Visit
-I knew something was askew as my body typically heals or begins to show signs of healing of minor strains and sprains within a week or two. Both of my groins had been sore after skating because I don't normally skate but my right groin returned to normal after one day and my left groin continued to ache and was becoming more sore with certain lower body and back weight lifting exercises. Despite the relatively minor pain, I went for a 2.5 mile/25 min interval run on like Dec 15ish; It included sprints for brief periods but was an easy to easy/medium workout. The pain that I experienced DURING the sprints was probably approaching a 5/10 or 6/10 but I pushed through because I was convinced I wasn't injured. The pain I experienced the following day was probably about 7/10 when I would try to sit up out of bed or engage my left abdominals at all and radiated all the way up about half of my abdomen. Typically the pain resided in the deepest, non-palpable portion of my left groin, right where the top of the thigh meets the abdomen. Now I knew I was injured. Doctor said it was a severe strain, ordered RICE for about 4 weeks.
Jan 15, 2016: Not a strain- Ultrasound ordered
-The pain from the sprint workout subsided to pre-run levels about 4-5 days later but there was still a nagging pain that persisted with squats, running, and adduction in general. The doctor suspected an inguinal hernia and ordered an ultrasound. He also told me to take it easy for another 4 weeks. The ultrasound was negative for an inguinal hernia or other conditions.
Feb 18, 2016: Diagnosis of Exclusion- MRI ordered
- The doctor ordered an MRI of the affected area. The MRI was negative for an inguinal hernia or other conditions. The doc now ordered 4 weeks of physical therapy before he would put in a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.
Mar 1-31, 2016: PT for nought
- I began my physical therapy (2x per week for 4 weeks) and by this point quite pessimistic about the PT process as I had already done the bulk of my research, desperate to find an explanation for the pain I was experiencing. I was firmly convinced I had a sports hernia based on the dozens of medical journal articles I had read on the diagnostic and treatment procedures for them. The physical therapy regimen was ineffective and pain levels remained unaffected.
Apr 25, 2016: Referral to Ortho
-I finally got my referral to the orthopedic surgeon and felt I was getting somewhere. The ortho ordered an MRI with contrast (arthrogram, I think?) of my left hip to look for whatever he was looking for...torn ligaments, cartilage, tendons I'm assuming. He noted there was a "slight disturbance" in my labrum but certainly not enough to cause the pain or warrant surgery. I was referred to a general surgeon for a suspected sports hernia...SCORE.
May 15, 2016: PT AGAIN!? And a definitive diagnosis!!
-The general surgeon I was referred to was incredibly knowledgeable and he echoed all of the research I had found in the medical journals, so not only was I validated but I was relieved. He said that I definitely had a sports hernia, that I was a candidate for surgery, and that the procedure that he performed (laproscopic mesh) had an 85-90% success rate. He told me that he wanted me to complete one more 4 week PT regimen just in case it could save me from the knife but I knew it would likely be in vain. I played along. The second physical therapy regimen was ineffective and pain levels remained unaffected.
Aug 10, 2016: Surgery...Finally.
-I had my surgery last week on Aug 10 and will now detail my progress in terms of days post-op. (Surgery day = S)
S-Day: Upon waking my whole abdomen and groin were very numb from the local anesthetic but I was extremely alert for just having been under anesthesia. The recovery nurse told me that I had been "too sleepy" for the anesthesiologist and was given Narcan. I got 30x 5/325 Norcos for pain and was given a freebie before I left the hospital with my wife as my driver. Pain was virtually all over my abdomen for the remainder of the day, about 2-3/10, and I got more groggy as the day wore on. Not too bad of a day overall. Took it very easy.
S+1 to S+3: These days were pretty damn miserable. Pain was about 4-5/10 resting and would increase with sudden or core-engaging movements, 2x Norcos every 4-5 hours, sleeping on my back only, entire stomach area is swollen and tender to the touch, walking was super slow and painful but I tried, I avoided coughing and laughing like the plague, napped at least once each day I think...thats about it.
S+4 to S+6: Pain gradually became much more manageable and I stopped taking pain pills on S+6. I walked about 15min a day. I sneezed accidentally on one of these days and regretted it immediately. It's very easy to feel that my abs are growing back around the mesh; it feels as if there are stitches holding my entire gut together and that if I inhale too deeply, stretch too far, or lay on my back too flatly they may rip out. It's a strange sensation.
S+7 to S+8: Abdomen is pretty much back to normal in terms of swelling, I'm able to sleep on my side a little easier but it's still painful, pain isn't constant and only gets worse, about 3/10, towards the end of the day or if I go for a longer walk. Doc told me to take 800mg of ibuprofen 3x per time regardless of pain level and it helps.
S+9: Best day so far. Pain is continuing to ease up and walking is getting better. Still slow but it's improving. Painful getting into and out of my car and I find myself sitting reclined a little more than I usually would to avoid pain. I've got a follow up with the surgeon next week. Oh yeah and I've got nagging pain, 2/10, in my left testicle that seems to be routine with this procedure. Ill ask the doc.
Before the surgery, if I was standing still and I flexed my left glute, as if to adduct my affected leg without my leg actually moving anywhere, I could consistently produce the pain in my groin. I tried that a couple days ago after the surgery and it still seemed to be there so hopefully that will be resolved with the increased strength from the mesh; I can only assume that's how it will work. I apologize for the intensely long post but this has been one of the most frustrating events of my life and thought I should share it. Peace.