What is Gilmore’s Groin?

I recently had a patient who had many years ago received groin surgery for “Gilmore’s Groin”, ironically from the man it was named after (yes, he’s still alive and working).

The man behind the name turns out to be Dr. Jerry Gilmore, London Groin and Hernia surgeon.  First identified in 1980, Gilmore’s Groin can be referred to as sportsman’s hernia, however, it actually has no herniation (of abdominal contents) present at all.  What is seen is an abnormal gap in the tissues between the junction of the leg and torso.  The external oblique abdominal muscle attachment, inguinal ligament and conjoint tendon are affected and, in most cases, require surgery.

Here are the typical symptoms that Dr. Gilmore describes:

“Typical history is pain in the groin in the inguinal region.  The symptoms are increased by running and especially sprinting.  Also with twisting, turning and kicking.”

“After sport, the patient is usually stiff and sore for a few hours or even a few days.”

“The day after a game, the patient tends to get pain turning in bed or getting out of a bed or a car.  The patient may also notice pain with coughing, sneezing or sit-ups.”

“There is a history of specific injury in only 30% of patients.  Specific injuries include overstretching, abduction and eversion injuries.  Symptoms usually indicate that it is a wear and tear injury.”

“20% of patients also get an adductor tear which causes pain in the adductor insertion area in the upper inner aspect of the thigh.  It is made worse especially by kicking, twisting and turning.” (Physioroom.com)

This condition generally doesn’t settle with rest, so it’s off to the surgeon for a small incision and 4-6 weeks of gradual strengthening of the surrounding muscles with your Physiotherapist.  Dr. Gilmore claims a 98% success rate of his open surgery in professional footballers, so it sounds like one procedure that you can approach with confidence.

Yet another reason to have lingering groin pain assessed properly and diagnosed accurately.

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