Mr Simon Marsh is the Surgical Director at the Gilmore Groin Clinic, London. He took over from Mr Jerry Gilmore, the surgeon behind the repair, upon his retirement in 2010.
Physiotherapy for Gilmore's groin
Physiotherapy for Gilmore's Groin has changed throughout the years as originally it was only the professional sportsman that was operated on and they had daily access to a physiotherapist. The key to recovery after the operation is related to rehabilitation, the key being that the fitter the patient is before the operation, the quicker they will recover.
Mr Marsh talks about the rehabilitation program which been modified into stages to adapted to all levels of fitness from the professional athlete to the amateur.
The muscles to be strengthened are known as the core muscles and include Transversus abdominus and Multifidus. These act as stabilizing muscles for the trunk and pelvis. The Transversus abdominus muscle stabilizes the trunk by acting as a natural corset and the Multifidus muscles run along the spine attaching to the vertebrae. It is usual to contract both of these muscles together to increase the stability of the spinal column.
First you should learn how to contract, or 'engage' your core muscles. You can then gradually progress the difficulty of exercises you perform whilst maintaining core contraction.
It is also important to strengthen the groin muscles, known as the adductors. There are both short and long adductor muscles and so these exercises should be performed with the knee both straight (long adductors) and bent (short adductors) to work both sets.
Whilst core strengthening is performed initially, these exercises can begin as soon as they are pain free to perform. Start very gently, allowing plenty of recovery time (2 days initially) between sessions. If there is pain, then stop immediately.
You should try to maintain flexibility of the hip joint through the rehabilitation process and beyond to avoid future injuries and ensure that the muscles are functioning effectively.
With this in mind, you should be looking to stretch the groin muscles, the hamstrings, the quads and the buttock muscles. All stretches should be held for 20-30 seconds and repeated 2-3 times. Stretching should be carried out on a daily basis, ideally at least three times a day.