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March 12, 1982

Inguinal Hernias and Employment

JAMA. 1982;247(10):1407. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320350021014

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To the Editor.—  In a recent issue of The Journal (1981;246:1019), T. Forrest Fisher, MD, answered a question regarding hernias on behalf of the Occupational Medical Practice Committee. The executive board of the Occupational Medical Association of New Jersey has reviewed this answer and believes clarification is needed.Statements are made that "The committee finds no data to show that people with enlarged internal inguinal rings and no hernia subsequently have a higher incidence of inguinal hernia" and "There is nothing in the medical literature to support the contention that a patient with an inguinal hernia is incapable of lifting heavy objects." Does the literature contain any data to the contrary? Is the committee recommending that no lifting restrictions be placed on an individual employee with a definite inguinal hernia and a moderate-sized defect? What references are available to substantiate this position?Part of the answer regarding medical indications for