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Digestive Disorders

Hiatal Hernia Potentially?

07/06/2010

Question:

Last week I was working out on the decline bench press. I tried out a new decline bench that is of an awkward angle for me. I was using a moderately heavy weight for me, (275 lbs x 10 reps) however on the first rep I lowered the bar lower than normal getting the form figured out on the new bench. (the bar went an inch or so below sternum) I felt a slight pain, (3 on pain scale of 1-10) but only for a second.

A few days later I noticed a hard 1 inch by 1 inch area below my sternum. It almost feels as hard as a rib and is directly below the sternum. I can press it in a little bit and only feel slight pain when doing so.

It sounds like it may be a hernia, however I have no other symptoms and feel fine. I have been working out since and have had no problems.

I eat very healthy and work out 5 days a week lifting and running. I do lift heavy weights often however. I am not obese or a smoker.

My primary doctor does not have an x-ray machine. If an x-ray is required what type of doctor should I see?

Thanks

Answer:

I would get a CT scan of the abdomen to rule out hernia, however, you may just be feeling your Xiphoid bone. This bone is below the sternum and most people don't know its there unless something draws attention to the area. You should be evaluated by a doctor to make sure that you do not have a hernia.

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Response by:

Syed A Ahmad, MD Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati