Background: To evaluate the clinical course of soccer players affected by chronic groin pain, who were referred for laparoscopic inguinal exploration.
Material/methods: Thirty-five professional soccer players affected by chronic groin pain and referred for laparoscopic inguinal exploration were included in this prospective, non-randomized study. Prior to surgery, patients were assessed by history, clinical examination, pelvic X-ray, bone scanning with Technetium and ultrasound of the inguinal region. The pre-peritoneal space was visualized with a laparoscope under general anesthesia. A bilateral polypropylene mesh was attached pre-peritoneally. Recorded data included demographics, history, symptoms, surgical findings and postoperative recovery.
Results: All patients were male. The mean age was 24.3 years. Six patients (17.1%) complained of pain affecting their normal life. A true indirect type I hernia was identified in 4 patients (11.4%). In 28 patients (80%), a wide internal ring and peritoneal dimple were found during the procedure. No clear pathology was found in three patients (8.6%). Thirty-four patients (97.1%) returned to their normal activities after surgery.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic inguinal exploration and repair of "sportsman's hernias" in soccer players was associated with rapid recovery and fast return to full training and activity.