Most hernias are medically known as ‘inguinal’ hernias. They occur when there is a rupture in the abdominal wall. Fat tissues or intestine may protrude through the rupture. Although no pain may be felt at first, it’s possible to feel a bump in the groin area. It’s possible that it could feel sensitive in that area when lifting or bending.
Inguinal hernias can be broken down into two different types. The classification of indirect is given when there is a congenital defect in the wall of the abdomen. Direct is when the cause of the hernia is physical activity.
As many as 70,000 operations take place in the UK alone each year, to repair hernias. Most of these are successful. However, it can mean that the sufferer has to take quite a long time off work and they will suffer from loss of earnings. It will also mean that they cannot lift and they may even have to change to a different job.
Not getting the hernia attended to can lead to medical issues. For example, there could be disruption to the blood supply meaning that some of the soft tissues of the body will not get the blood supply necessary to stay healthy. It can even lead to obstruction of the bowel.
During the operation, the surgeon will push the tissues back through the abdominal wall and then use a mesh to prevent it from happening again. Sometimes they use a wire instead. If it’s possible to treat a hernia this way, then it’s defined as being ‘reducible’.
There is a weakness around the abdominal area, so unfortunately inguinal hernias occur frequently. In very physical jobs, there is a lot of pressure put on the tissues in the stomach area with muscles and tendons sometimes pushing the tissues through the abdominal wall.
Unfortunately, once a hernia has occurred, then it’s easy to get one again. Even after surgery, a weakness can still be there causing further problems.
The most common cause of hernias at work is lifting and transporting heavy items. Pulling, pushing and carrying heavy loads can all lead to this type of physical injury. Even too much coughing can cause a problem in the groin area.
It’s possible to seek compensation if you suffer a hernia at work through no fault of your own. There are specific regulations that need to be followed by employers