Surgery for posterior inguinal wall deficiency in athletes

J Sci Med Sport. 2004 Dec;7(4):415-21; discussion 422-3. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(04)80257-3.


This study retrospectively evaluated the outcome for patients undergoing herniorraphy for chronic groin pain due to posterior inguinal wall deficiency, and correlated the outcome with preoperative investigation findings. There were 47 patients (with a total of 52 herniorraphies) who were contacted by phone between six and 50 months post surgery. Subjects had a diagnosis of posterior inguinal wall deficiency made on history and clinical examination. Thirty seven patients had an ultrasound scan prior to the surgery (three bilateral) with a total of 40 symptomatic groins scanned. There were 26 abnormal scans (22 posterior inguinal wall deficiency and four hernias) and 14 normal scans. Twenty nine patients had a technetium-99m bone scan with 22 having increased uptake at the symptomatic pubic tubercle, while 13 had increased uptake at other sites in the groin. Seventy seven percent of patients had a full return to sport after surgery and the average time to return to sport was four months. There was no significant difference in outcome between subjects who had an abnormal ultrasound scan on the symptomatic side and those who had a normal scan. There was a significant difference in outcome between patients who had a bone scan with increased uptake at the symptomatic pubic tubercle and those who did not (p < 0.04). Our study supports previous research that good results can be obtained with surgery when posterior inguinal wall deficiency is the sole diagnosis. Ultrasound scan does not appear to aid in predicting surgical outcome, while the role of isotope bone scanning requires further study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / complications
  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Hernia, Inguinal / complications
  • Hernia, Inguinal / diagnosis
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Inguinal Canal / diagnostic imaging
  • Inguinal Canal / surgery*
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / etiology
  • Recovery of Function
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sports Medicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography