Laparoscopic Repair of Groin Pain in Athletes

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Abstract

Background

There has been increasing interest regarding the cause and treatment of groin pain in athletes. The most common finding is a deficiency of the posterior wall of the inguinal canal, often repaired with bilateral inguinal myorrhaphy.

Hypothesis

Laparoscopic repair will offer a shorter convalescent period and better results as compared with open myorrhaphy.

Study Design

Retrospective review of prospectively collected data.

Methods

Between October 1993 and October 2002, 131 athletes with groin pain unrelieved after 2 to 8 months of conservative management underwent bilateral laparoscopic repair with the transabdominal preperitoneal technique for hernias. In 123 (94%) patients, physical examination revealed a dilated external ring, unilateral or bilateral, of the inguinal canal, and in 8 patients (6%) it was normal.

Results

During laparoscopy, a deficiency of the posterior inguinal wall was seen in all athletes. All patients left the hospital 24 hours after the procedure, discontinued oral analgesics within 72 hours of surgery, and were back to full sporting activities within 2 to 3 weeks. Four patients (3%) complained of thigh pain. After a mean follow-up of 5 years (range, 4 months to 10 years), there was 1 recurrence (0.76%).

Conclusions

Laparoscopic repair is an efficient method for the treatment of groin pain originating from a deficiency of the posterior inguinal wall, having fast recovery and excellent long-term results.

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