Tbe defendants in tbis ease insist that the facts are not in dispute and, therefore, the findings of the Industrial Commission are propositions of law not conclusive upon the appellate court. There are some stipulations in the record, but we find none covering the vital points of the controversy presented on the appeal. All facts relating to the controversy may be considered disputed until settled by proper authority. The Industrial Commission has been charged with that duty and has been given sole jurisdiction to find the facts upon the evidence, and there is no simpler way to express the limitations upon this Court than to repeat, in the familiar formula, that this Court is bound by the findings of fact made by the Industrial Commission, where there is any competent evidence to support them. Nissen v. Winston-Salem, 206 N. C., 888, 893; Hildebrand v. Furniture Co., 212 N. C., 100. Where mixed questions of fact and law are presented to the Commission, and a conclusion stated involving both, it will be presumed that the question of fact was passed upon and found in agreement with the conclusion stated, and where there is evidence to support the finding, the statement will be reviewed only in its legal aspect.
Is there any evidence in the record that the plaintiff sustained the injury complained of as “an injury by accident,” as required by the statute?'
1. The authority of Neely v. Statesville, 212 N. C., 365, and Slade v. Hosiery Mills, 209 N. C., 823, in each of which compensation was denied, is invoked as controlling the case at bar. This could be so only to the extent that the cases were on all-fours, since the Neely case, supra, and the Slade case, supra, merely applied well known principles of law to the circumstances peculiar to those eases. And we think there is a substantial difference between the facts of the case at bar and those passed .upon in the cited cases, which make the latter inapplicable here.
In the Slade case, supra, the Court said of plaintiff: “He was pursuing the general routine of his employment. Nothing unusual or unexpected took place at the mill. The weather was hot, but not excessively so. The case is free from ‘injury by accident,’ as this phrase is used in the Workmen’s Compensation Act.” A similar statement was made in the Neely case, supra, after careful analysis.
A close perusal of the evidence in these two cases fully bears out the conclusion at which the court arrived. While we do not attempt a point by point comparison between these cases and the case at bar, there are important differences which, in our opinion, distinguish them at critical points.
In the case at bar the evidence discloses that while the operation of handling and lifting pipes was done in the ordinary manner, and even that the plaintiff had lifted pipes in that way before, two things occurred *430which, taken together, were out of the ordinary, and are sufficient, we think, to bring into the transaction the element of unusualness and unexpectedness from which accident might be inferred. In this particular case, by order of a superior, all other employees except plaintiff and Sykes were discharged, and these were left alone to do the heavy lifting. While Sykes had handled that type of pipe and perhaps piping of that weight before, the plaintiff had not. On the contrary, he was required to lift piping of a type and of a weight he had never before lifted, and it may be inferred from the testimony of Sykes that this was caused by the laying off of all other employees, which left them short-handed. From the evidence, his effort to lift the pipe was immediately followed by an injury.
In the case at bar, there is in the foregoing sufficient evidence of the interruption of the routine of work, and the introduction thereby of unusual conditions likely to result in unexpected consequences, and these were of such a character as to justify the Industrial Commission in finding that plaintiff’s injury was the result of accident.
2. As a refinement of their objection to the finding of the Commission that the plaintiff suffered an injury by accident, the defendants further urge that whatever injury occurred to the plaintiff must not itself be considered as a part of the accident; that injury by accident, within the meaning of the statute, means injury by an accident the circumstances and conditions of which are complete outside of the body, and the injury must be brought about by the application of some external force.
The present case does not seem to require a discussion of this contention, since we think the evidence justified the Industrial Commission in finding that the injury sustained by the plaintiff was an injury by accident in which the fortuitous and unexpected happenings arose from the changed conditions in which the plaintiff was required to work. But the Court is not prepared to say that there are no conceivable conditions under which the breaking down of body tissues might not become a constituent element of accident under the present statute. We leave that question to be determined when directly presented upon the record.
3. Perhaps because the origin of a particular inguinal hernia is often baffling to the surgeon, and he is sometimes at a loss to know whether it is an old condition or one of recent origin, and perhaps also to give assurance that awards are made only in cases of undoubted merit, the statute requires that to be compensable the hernia must have appeared suddenly. The defendants contend that since the examination of Dr. McEachern on the day after the alleged injury showed only an enlarged left inguinal ring and no actual protrusion through it of any “organ or part,” and since it was as much as 18 days later, upon the examination of Dr. Paul *431Neal, a bernia was found, tbe bernia did not appear suddenly as required by tbe statute, but gradually developed during tbis period.
We note tbat Dr. McEacbern testified tbat plaintiff came to bim complaining of pain in tbe lower left quadrant of tbe abdomen after having lifted a heavy body. His examination showed an enlargement of tbe inguinal ring and a bulge of tbe abdominal wall, most marked in tbat region. He strapped tbe left side and prescribed tbe wearing of a truss • — -a device commonly used to prevent tbe protrusion of tbe intestine or other part through tbe ring. He further advised an operation. Notwithstanding tbe restraining bandages, 18 days later Dr. Paul Neal found hernia, according to tbe strictest medical definition — an actual protrusion through tbe left inguinal ring. Of course, it did not “suddenly” appear at tbis examination. It bad been there some time before —how long we do not know. At a subsequent later examination by Dr. Kemp Neal, as testified by Dr. Kemp Neal, there was a real hernia, but tbe hernia sac would disappear on cessation of strain. Thus, it appears tbat a continuous protrusion is not necessary to constitute hernia, at least in its early stages; otherwise, tbe Industrial Commission might be baffled with tbe problem “now you have it and now you don’t.” It is to be noted, too, tbat Dr. McEacbern did not attribute tbe bulge around tbe left inguinal ring to inflammation or swelling.
From tbis evidence it is difficult to avoid tbe conclusion tbat plaintiff was at tbe time be went to Dr. McEacbern, tbe next day after tbe accident, suffering from a lesion in tbe vicinity of tbe left inguinal ring, and tbe process of protrusion down through tbe injured inguinal channel bad already set in; and Dr. McEacbern recognized tbe necessity of immediately applying tbe usual device used in cases of bernia. Tbe exact time when tbe actual protrusion of tbe parts took place is not definitely known. It was some time in tbe short period between 13 October and 31 October. Tbe real injury suffered by tbe plaintiff was tbe lesion or condition brought about, by reason of which tbe abdominal walls can no longer retain tbe viscus, and a statute evidently devised to secure plenary evidence of tbe existence of hernia should be satisfied with its appearance in tbe manner indicated in tbe testimony, and we think tbe Industrial Commission was justified upon tbis evidence in concluding tbat tbe hernia appeared “suddenly” within tbe meaning of tbe statute.
We find no error in tbe judgment of tbe court below, and it is