At least you made it to 42! I'm only 28, have a sports hernia injury, have been doing physical therapy for the past 2 years, and am just now trying to get back into playing soccer.
I wouldn't recommend the surgery, as the results appear mixed as you've seen in this thread. Physical therapy could help, but this injury takes forever to "heal". It may never heal, but you might be able to strengthen it to the point that you could play soccer again with minor discomfort.
Mentioned by another user as well, "Bulgarian Split Squats" are probably one of the best exercises to help strengthen your muscles and help with a sports hernia injury. I'd definitely recommend doing some of those every 2 days.