Comparison of patient characteristics and treatment approaches for femoral and inguinal hernias utilizing dynamic ultrasound at a single institution.

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PURPOSE: To assess the differences in management approach to femoral versus inguinal hernias and to identify patient characteristics associated with each hernia type.

METHODS: Imaging studies for patients who had undergone dynamic ultrasound evaluation for the symptom of groin pain between January 1, 2010, and March 31, 2019, at a single institution Musculoskeletal Department were analyzed. Positive femoral hernia imaging studies were compared to studies for inguinal hernias and matching medical records for imaging studies were analyzed. Association of patient characteristics (age, sex, smoking, diabetes) with hernia type was assessed. Primary outcomes were surgical versus non-surgical approach, type of surgery, number of follow-up visits, and pain resolution.

RESULTS: A total of 1319 patients presented with groin pain and were assessed with dynamic ultrasound (534 female; 785 male; mean [± SD] age 48.2 ± 16.5). While 409 (31.0%) patients had a femoral hernia detected, 666 (50.6%) had an inguinal hernia detected (p < .05). Significantly more inguinal hernias were surgically repaired than femoral hernias (65.0% vs 53.9% p = .008), and more inguinal hernias than femoral hernias were treated with open surgery (71.0% vs 57.7%; p = .014). Patients with femoral hernias had significantly more follow-up clinic visits than patients with inguinal hernias (mean [± SD] 2.65 ± 4.80 vs 1.76 ± 1.27; p = .010). No difference in the percentage of patients who had pain resolution was observed (82.2% inguinal vs 75.0% femoral; p = .13).

CONCLUSIONS: Femoral hernias were managed more conservatively than inguinal hernias at our institution.

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ePub ahead of print