Back in the Game: NJ athlete finds relief for sports hernia.

Back in the Game: NJ athlete finds relief for sports hernia.


It was constant sharp, shooting pain – every time I took a step. My name is Jacob Saccal. I was diagnosed with a sports hernia and I was treated at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. I can’t really pinpoint when it occurred it could have happened in a game, in a practice ya know I was playing my freshman year – continuously playing well and all of a sudden I just started kind of feeling pain in like my left side pelvic area. And it would come when I would run, sprint, change direction – anything you do in lacrosse. And it kind of progressed as time went on, and it got to the point where I couldn’t walk any more the pain was just so much. Ibuprofen wasn’t helping. I would just have this pain – walking to class – just doing anything basic. Just so painful. Jacob was able to come to our center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and get evaluated and diagnosed correctly. I immediately recognized that he has what’s called a sports hernia otherwise know as athletic pubalgia. Which is a chronic pain disorder of the groin caused muscle imbalances across the pelvic bone. A lot of athletes get this. Sometimes it’s soccer players, sometimes it’s lacrosse, sometimes it’s hockey various types of sports that require sprinting, running, cutting movements and these sort of things can exacerbate the underlying muscular weaknesses. We did try physical therapy – nothing was working. Dr. Melman said, I think the surgery will help you out here. So after taking like a week to think over what my plan should be. I decided to kind of take a semester off to take online classes and get the surgery. He required a reenforcement of the lower abdominal wall and he required what’s call an adductor tendon release which releases or relaxes the muscles on the underside of the pelvic bone. So we strengthen the muscles on the top of the pelvic bone and we loosen the muscles on the underside and that provides a better balance across the pelvic bone. If not treated correctly these can be crippling conditions where people aren’t able to ambulate, they’re not able to walk around, they can’t even go up and down steps anymore and so their lifestyle is extremely limited. With proper treatment, it’s over 90% effective in getting people back to their baseline and back into their sport Life is so much better. I’m really thankful for the team and Dr. Melman for getting me back It’s been about a year since surgery and I’m back to playing lacrosse. I’m back to everything really. I wake up everyday with the mentality of I’m going to crush the day. Now it’s like, how much can I achieve each day? How much can I learn? How much can I run? How much can I lift? I feel almost unlimited with the potential I have. You know I could shoot for the moon. RWJBarnabas Health Let’s be healthy together.

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