Definition and clinical signs

Hernia, old illustration

What is a hernia?

A hernia is the protrusion of an organ or the fascia of an organ through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it. A typical location for this is the inguinal canal through which the spermatic cord and accompanying nerves run. The inguinal canal has an inner and an outer ring which results in a natural anatomical weakness due to incomplete muscle coverage that may lead to the protrusion of parts of the bowel.

Clinical signs

Most patients describe a swelling or a bulge in the groin region that occurs with increased physical activity,coughing, pressing, lifting heavy objects or during sport activities. Often the swelling disappears when lying down or after finishing the physical activity and can sometimes be repositioned by applying gentle pressure. Trapped hernia are rare and are usually accompanied by severe groin pain, vomiting and nausea.