Tuesday, December 13

Phil Mickelson Undergoes Second Surgery for Sports Hernia

MULTIPLE OUTLETS ARE REPORTING that Phil Mickelson had a second surgery for a sports hernia. Mickelson is expected to make a full recovery, according to his agent, but the timeline for his return to competitive golf is unclear.

Courtesy of Sheldon & Marci/Flickr
Mickelson will definitely show up at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January because he is the tournament ambassador. But will he be able to play?

Lefty's first sports hernia surgery was on October 19, during which a walnut-sized hernia behind his navel was removed. Supposedly, Phil was, as he said last month, "all fixed up."

How serious is a sports hernia? In fact, what is a sports hernia? I wondered.

Here's what I found about sports hernia (also known as athletic pubalgia) at OrthoInfo, a site that carries the name of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS):
A sports hernia is a painful, soft tissue injury that occurs in the groin area. It most often occurs during sports that require sudden changes of direction or intense twisting movements. 
Although a sports hernia may lead to a traditional, abdominal hernia, it is a different injury. A sports hernia is a strain or tear of any soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) in the lower abdomen or groin area. 
Because different tissues may be affected and a traditional hernia may not exist, the medical community prefers the term "athletic pubalgia" to refer to this type of injury. The general public and media are more familiar with "sports hernia"....
Obviously, Mickelson does not play a contact or kicking sport, but this still strikes me as a pretty serious injury and it's troubling that he has needed two surgeries in such a short period of time.

Another website that focuses on sports medicine imaging says that a sports hernia can be a career-ending injury.

Hopefully, Phil, 47 next June, will make a full recovery (as his people say), and have more moments of glory on the fairways.

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