An obturator, or pelvic hernia, is a very rare hernia that usually occurs deep in the pelvic area and presents a bowel blockage, rather than a protrusion of the bowel contents. This type of bowel hernia is nine times more likely to occur in elderly women in their 70s and 80s. If left untreated, an obturator hernia can be fatal.
Patients who have this type of hernia usually feel pain in the hip, thigh, and knee, and may experience vomiting. Diagnosis of a pelvic hernia is often made using the Howship-Romberg sign, a pain down the leg when the hip is extended. Unless a significant medical condition prevents it, all hernias should be repaired with surgery. In this case, mesh is used to repair the site of the hernia and prevent bowel blockage.