Acute mechanical intestinal obstruction due to external hernia has been reported to occur in 10.5% of 1,252 cases studied by Wangensteen in 1953.2Obturator hernia is one of the rare causes of mechanical intestinal obstruction. Watson3 collected 442 cases of obturator hernia from the literature, noting that strangulation was common and the mortality high. The correct preoperative diagnosis of a strangulated obturator hernia was made in only 25% of the cases.
—A 69-year-old married woman was admitted to the Flagstaff Hospital on Nov. 15, 1956, complaining of cramping, generalized abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal enlargement of six days' duration. She noted constipation four days before admission, acompanied by a tarcolored stool the day prior to admission. She had lost 15 1b. of body weight during the past three months.She had had no abdominal surgery or trauma in the past.Physical examination revealed