Rectus sheath hernias (alternative plural: herniae) are a very seldom seen form of herniation through the anterior abdominal wall. Herniation of intra-abdominal contents (mesenteric fat +/- bowel), is usually through the posterior rectus sheath only and thus these are often termed posterior rectus sheath hernias. The hernia can extend to various degrees.
Most rectus sheath hernias have been found to result from surgical weakening of the wall or following trauma. Spontaneous cases are exceedingly rare, with a few in the medical literature.
A CT may give the best appreciation of the anatomy and is usually seen as a hernia within a large portion of the rectus sheath.
History and etymology
A rectus sheath hernia is thought to have been first reported in the literature in 1937 1-4.
- 1. Losanoff J, et.al. Spontaneous hernia through the posterior rectus abdominis sheath: case report and review of the published literature 1937-2008. (2009) Hernia : the journal of hernias and abdominal wall surgery. doi:10.1007/s10029-009-0481-6 - Pubmed
- 2. Ng CW, Sandstrom A, Lim G. Spontaneous posterior rectus sheath hernia: a case report. (2018) Journal of medical case reports. 12 (1): 96. doi:10.1186/s13256-018-1645-8 - Pubmed
- 3. Lenobel S et.al. Posterior rectus sheath hernia causing intermittent small bowel obstruction. (2014) Journal of radiology case reports. 8 (9): 25-9. doi:10.3941/jrcr.v8i9.2081 - Pubmed
- 4. Loureiro R, Marques A, Constantino J, Casimiro C. Laparoscopic approach for a spontaneous posterior rectus sheath hernia. (2019) Journal of surgical case reports. 2019 (5): rjz161. doi:10.1093/jscr/rjz161 - Pubmed
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