Benton A. Emblom, MD is a partner at Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Emblom specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopic treatment of the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee. He has subspecialty expertise in hip preservation surgery and hip reconstruction.
As a team physician for Auburn University, the University of Alabama, Samford University and Hoover High School, Dr. Emblom is able to passionately play an integral role on the team of accomplishing a shared goal: to foster player safety and to facilitate safe return to play after an injury.
For more information, contact Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center at (205) 939-3699 and request to speak with Dr. Emblom's appointment scheduler.
What is a sports hernia?
Sports hernia as actually a misnomer. The more appropriate term is "athletic pubalgia". It represents a biomechanical imbalance between the adductor musculature (groin muscle) and the lower abdominal musculature (lower abs). Generally, a groin pull is the inciting event, then due to the muscular imbalance from compensation the rectus begins to pull off of the pelvis. There is no true hernia, simply a muscle-tendon failure. It often presents in a sporting athlete with symptoms that mimic a hernia, however no true "hernia" exists.
What is a sports hernia repair?
The surgical repair involves a small open incision in the upper part of the groin. The acquired adductor contracture in released and the lower rectus muscle is reattached to the pelvis. This restores normal biomechanical balance to the pelvis. No mesh is used.
What are conservative treatment options?
Conservative treatment options include an appropriate period of active rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical therapy, and sometimes corticosteroid injections. If those modalities are ineffective, surgical repair is then an option. It is important to rule out an associated anatomical inguinal hernia before proceeding.
Is this procedure covered by my insurance?
No. Unfortunately, insurance will not pay for this procedure. Insurers do not consider this prohibitive to regular daily activities and subsequent surgery is deemed elective.
How much does it cost?
Our office will be happy to discuss the cost and financing options at your initial appointment.
How do patients prepare for surgery?
There are preparations to be made in the days leading up to surgery to ensure that the process goes smoothly.
- We will give you specific instructions on how to take any normal medications that you may be on.
- You may be asked to prepare the surgical site with pre-operative antibacterial soap the night before/morning of surgery.
- We will contact you the day before surgery to confirm your arrival time to the Birmingham Surgery Center.
- You will need to wear loose, comfortable clothing and you will need to have a driver.
What can I expect the day of surgery?
You will check-in at the Birmingham Surgery Center and be taken to the pre-operative prep area. An IV will be started and the surgical site will be prepared.
Once you are in the operating room, you will be given general anesthesia - you will be completely asleep for the procedure. Surgery will last approximately 45 minutes then you will be taken to the post-operative recovery area. You will be carefully monitored until ready to be discharged home.
You will be discharged with a drain at the surgical site. We will see you back in our office on the day after surgery to remove the drain and check the incision site. We recommend that you use crutches as needed for comfort for 1-4 days after surgery. We can provide those on the day of surgery if needed.
Will I need physical therapy?
Yes, therapy will begin the day after surgery and generally lasts for 4-6 weeks.
What is the recovery time for sports hernia surgery?
Recovery occurs in phases. Ambulating without crutches after 1-4 days, light exercise including pool therapy in 1-2 weeks, light resistance training and jogging in 3 weeks, sport specific therapy at 3-6 weeks.
Will I be able to return to sports?
Yes, typical return to sport is gradual after 3-6 weeks of therapy.