Gilmore's Groin can also be known as a Sportsmans Hernia, athletic pubalgia, slap shot gut and sports hernia. A true Gilmores Groin has nothing to do with a hernia. We talk to Jerry Gilmore himself who explains all.
Symptoms of Gilmores groin include groin pain that's increased by running, sprinting, twisting and turning. After training the athlete may be stiff or sore. The day after training or playing the athlete may have groin pain when turning or even getting out of a car. Coughing and sneezing may also cause groin pain.
It is claimed that in 30% of athletes there is a history of sudden injury but the majority indicate it to be a gradual overuse injury. Is it a hernia ? There is NOT a lump and so should not be thought to be a hernia.
Gilmores groin was first identified in 1980 by Consultant Surgeon Mr Jerry Gilmore, as a cause of longstanding groin pain. The condition is sometimes called the Sportsman's Hernia (or sports hernia), however, such symptoms of a hernia are often misdiagnosed as there is not actually a hernia present. Other more suitable alternative names include groin disruption and sportsman's groin. It is common in sports were a great deal of strain is placed on the groin and pelvic area through twisting and kicking movements. Players from sports such as soccer, football or rugby are most commonly injured.
Gilmore's groin is quite a complex condition, hence why it was not fully understood until relatively recently and why many cases are misdiagnosed as a groin strain or a hernia. The injury occurs at the junction of the leg and the torso. It involves the area (called an aponeurosis) where the abdominal muscles (Internal obliques, External obliques and Transversus abdominus) converge to form the inguinal ligament. The external oblique muscle has an archway through which several nerves and vessels pass. In Gilmores groin, a groin muscle tear causes this archway to open up much wider. Further tears in the obliques cause them to lift up and away from the inguinal ligament, leaving the transversus abdominus muscle unsupported.
What can the athlete do?
Although it is often possible to continue training with a Gilmores groin the condition is likely to get gradually worse. Conservative treatment involves strengthening the muscles of the pelvic region with a focus on core strengthening. See a sports injury professional and / or surgeon who can make an accurate diagnosis.
What can a doctor or surgeon do?
For athletes that have not responded to a thorough rehabilitation program, surgery is indicated, which is usually successful. Following surgery a 4 to 6 week rehabilitation period is usually required before returning to play. The rehabilitation program will be aimed at gradually improving the strength and flexibility of the pelvic muscles and will avoid sudden twisting and turning movements which may aggravate the injury.
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