View Full Version : Inguinal Hernia and Practice

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Mark Uttech
10-21-2006, 04:40 PM
I was recently diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. I would like to know if others have run into this problem and how they have dealt with it as far as practice. Two quick questions: will mae ukemi make it worse? Will shikko? I seem to understand that surgery may be required to fix this problem.

In gassho,

Kevin Wilbanks
10-21-2006, 06:16 PM
I had a friend who had one, but he didn't do Aikido. It's basically a piece of your guts poking through the inguinal canal, which is a tube through which the gonads desecend during early development. Anything that increases intra-abdominal pressure has the potential to force it to poke through more, and make it worse. Any kind of ukemi or any act where you end up bracing your hips and torso could hurt it. Lifting heavy objects is especially bad, and traditional-style hard falls would be too, as the body tends to compress the contents of the abdomen automatically to stabilize the trunk and lower back in these situations.

If it gets worse, it may become severely painful. My friend said it was one of the most painful things he ever experienced. He got the surgery, and after the recovery period he never had another problem. They basically sew a piece of kevlar over the inside opening of the canal, like putting a flat patch on the inside of a car tire. Once that's in place, it's nearly impossible for it to happen again.

Mark Uttech
10-22-2006, 06:09 AM
Thanks for the info Kevin. Guess I'll go ahead and get the surgery done.
In gassho,

10-22-2006, 08:48 PM
Ouch, I hope that everything goes well and you can get back to training soon!


peter martin-browning
12-12-2006, 01:39 PM
Hello Mark

If you haven't already undergone the surgery, there might be value in asking what method your surgeon uses. Some surgeons use "plication", in which the tissues are in a sense folded together before being stitched. Others use patches of a special type of fabric though, since I am not a surgeon, I don't know exactly how these are secured.
Interestingly, some homoeopathic doctors use a method for mending inguinal hernia, though I don't know whether that is available in the USA. It will involve taking remedies and remaining on your back for several days. Conventional medicine holds that this is not possible, but homoeopaths have had some success.
If you find a good surgeon there is no reason you should not resume aikido once you are recovered. Dojos are full of inguinal hernia repair veterans, as are rugger and soccer fields, coal-mines, (you get the idea).
One word of caution. It is not uncommon for a clinician to diagnose inguinal hernia when examination by a hernia specialist would show that no hernia is present. Before undergoing surgery, be sure of the diagnosis.
I hope this helps more than it hinders.

At your service


Mark Uttech
12-12-2006, 05:07 PM
Thanks for the advice Peter. I have not had the surgery yet, as my doctor ok'd it for me to go ahead and attend Winter Camp in Florida, so I guess surgery will come to be sometime next year. There's altogether no pain at all as yet and I am careful not to engage in hard practice. I will be sure to ckeck into this more; I have already talked to a couple of repair veterans and they report that at most, they take two months off of practice.

In gassho


David Shevitz
12-27-2006, 04:02 PM

I recently went through this myself. In my case, however, the hernia required that I have the surgery as quickly as possible.

For what it is worth, the surgery and its recovery went by very smoothly. I did end up taking a couple of weeks off from training, and it was probably a couple of weeks after that before I resumed taking ukemi. So I would concur with what you've already found out: the most you're likely looking at is about 2 months of practice.

At least the likelihood of recurrence post-surgery is very low. Once you get this issue handled, you'll likely not have to deal with it again!

Best of luck!

Dave Shevitz