Gilmore’s Groin – Post Op – Days 1 to 5

When I was looking around the Internet for other people’s real-life experiences of Gilmore’s Groin (or Sports Hernia, or Inguinal Canal) surgery, I found that the actual experience amounted to the odd Forum post here and there, with very little detail about what to expect – in fact it worried me that people’s experiences were quite negative, and I wondered if those experiences were early post-surgery ones (and then they weren’t followed up to say what happened long-term).

I did find one or two sites with Post-Op exercises, one such example is the Gilmore’s Groin page at the All Sports Injuries site, but even in the first few days, these exercises seem to be very ambitious.

The following is a diarisation of my first few days Post-Op (I’ll make further posts as things progress, so that there’s a fuller history) – I hope this post (and any future ones) helps someone in the future to realise that what they are experiencing is not unusual Post-Op for Gilmore’s Groin.

Disclaimer: However, please be mindful that these are my experiences and you should seek medical advice if you have any problems – I Am Not A Doctor (IANAD).

Day 1 – The Gilmore’s Groin Operation

So we arrive at the Hospital nice and early (7.30am), our lift gratefully received from our next-door neighbour – my daughter came along to look after me (and to go shopping while I had my Op 🙂 ). On the morning of the Op, I’m taken down to the Ward and shown to my bed for the day. I’m greeted by the nurse who will look after me until I go home. Next up, the anaesthetist talks me through a form I must sign (in case they screw up and kill me on the Operating table 😉 ) – she also explains that I’m second on the list, so she’ll see me at 10:30. Next up (@8.20am) is Mr. Tudor – he draws a black line on my leg pointing up to the place where they will operate, and tells me that they’ve changed the running order and I’m up first.  Thank goodness for that!

I walk to the Operating Theatre next door at around 8.45am and get up onto the bed – with a slick distraction routine from the nurse and the anaesthetist, I have a needle placed in my hand. A short time later there’s some happy juice flowing in my veins, then the General Anaesthetic before I declare “So long, and thanks for all the fish…”

I wake up very sore and no feeling in my left leg – my leg is completely numb (a bit like your gums feel after having local anaesthetic). A cup of tea, some toast and marmalade, another cup of tea. I realise that the pain is in my lower stomach area and not my leg/groin – it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to move. I’m asked if I can I lift my leg yet? – No!

I sit there waiting for some feeling to return. A little while later we try to get mobile, but my knee has no feeling and we abort the attempt. Another 30 minutes, it’s about 11.30am and I can finally sit in the chair. My daughter rings up and she is told I should be ready by about 12.30pm.

At about 12.20pm, I go white, my pulse drops to about 40bpm and I’m lifted back onto the bed – a problem associated with the Anaesthetics apparently. After getting an intravenous drip and finally stabilising, I’m visited by Mr. Tudor who declares the operation a success (and they found exactly what they expected to find – he’s done his standard repair with some Mesh). I am allowed to go home at about 3pm (again, our next-door neighbour is on-hand to do the honours – and watches on as the daughter tries to tip me over in the wheelchair :D).

I go to bed and hope that the next day will bring me some comfort.

Day 2

After a night of soreness and lack of sleep, I spend Day 2 moving about gingerly and wishing I hadn’t had the Operation. It’s very painful and the prescribed medicines are not really hitting the spot. My leg is still numb, mostly in the thigh area – they must have pumped a lot of Local Anaesthetic in there. It’s almost impossible to get around on my own and I spend most of the day on the Sofa, where I eventually fall asleep.

Day 3

A better night’s sleep on the Sofa, and I’ve learned to move around with the help of the recliner, and various other surfaces to grab on to. I’m getting frustrated because I don’t like relying on other people, but I do need assistance getting up and down at times, as well as help getting my underwear on. Another night on the Sofa beckons and the pain continues.

Day 4

I finally get up for a walk around and, for the first time since surgery, manage to perform a very important function – it’s very difficult to push when you’ve had surgery on your stomach 🙁
I feel like going for a short walk, but the weather dictates otherwise. I finally go off to bed – a mistake I later rectify by going downstairs onto the Sofa. The other mistake was that I didn’t take any pain relief before bed – codeine to the rescue!

Day 5 – My first walk

After moving downstairs at 3am, I have a good night’s sleep. I feel good enough to go for that long-overdue walk and successfully attempt my first ¼-mile. I manage another similar walk later on. Things are looking up and I hope to take some longer walks in the days ahead and continue my rehabilitation from this awkward injury.

For anyone else who is suffering a similar injury, don’t be put off from any negativity above – I’m in pain, but I expect to recover. The other option is to do nothing – for me this wasn’t an option because I saw it affecting any physical activity that I tried, and it also gave me a mental block on pushing myself too hard (and sometimes getting started at all).

A History of the Injury that led to me having surgery is outlined below (Click “Read the rest of this entry” if required).

Overview / History

For many of those that know me, you’ll also know that I’ve suffered from a problem in my left side for about 4 years. It has restricted my mobility at times, caused me lots of lost sleep over the course of the last few years, and stopped me doing some of the things I was enjoying (Karate, learning Golf).

It first exhibited itself as a pain in the hip, but it wasn’t a pain that I could touch – it seemed to be more deep-seated than that. After a few years of seeing doctors and physiotherapists (including one GP who asked “well, what do you want me to do about it?”), I saw Doctor Brown at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham. After describing the past few years of pain and the attempts to diagnose and rectify the problem (MRI Scan, Ultrasound, heat treatment, laser treatment, physiotherapy, core stability exercises etc.), Dr. Brown examined me (no time to be modest here – he turned my scrotum inside out!) before declaring that he thought I had a Gilmore’s Groin injury (otherwise known as a Sports Hernia or Inguinal Canal Injury). He then referred me to see Mr. Tudor, an NHS surgeon who specialises in Sports Hernia Surgery.

Mr. Tudor is a bit of a strange chap. He has a bedside manner more akin to a non-communicating teenager than an experienced surgeon, and after hanging around for 20 minutes in a consulting room, less than 1 minute of Mr. Tudor’s time was spent in diagnosing my problem as Gilmore’s Groin – no questions, no more information, just a declaration that I needed surgery.

Next appointment was the Pre-Op where a nurse told me more about what to expect and took some swabs for MRSA. Next up, the Operation itself (see above).