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m33r4 m33r4

Shooting pain attacks in right groin area - female

About me: 43 years old (44 soon)

Gender: Female

Weight: 9 stones

Height: 5'4"

Births: 3 children (now in late teens) by caesarean sections

Occupation: Admin

Hobbies: avid weightlifter for about 5 years but given up about 1.5 years ago

Daily exercise: dog walk for about 15 minutes

Problem: About 10 years ago I had, what I call my first attack. I was sat down on the grass in the park and got myself up first on my bent right leg to push the rest of my weight up on that leg. Suddenly, I lost my footing as the shooting pain my groin area was so severe I could have passed out. I was in absolute agony and had to keep completely motionless on the ground for what seemed like an eternity. Laying on my back, after about 5 minutes, I slowly tried to rock my leg in towards me and out away from me. When I dropped my leg away from me, I felt relief although after each attack the residual dull ache was present for about a day. Once I managed to get up on my feet, I found weight bearing on my right leg to be painful, to the point of having to limp for a while. After a while, the pain would go and I would then be able to walk normally. I didn't get this pain again for a good few years and recently, about 3 years ago, it started again. I went to my GP who sent me for an X ray which showed no abnormality. He then referred me physio and they couldn't detect anything either. The Physiotherapist felt that if I wore a hip brace (pull my hips tightly together) that may help. However, there was no hip brace available for a UK size 10. Recently, in the past few months, I get these attacks each time I am not "careful". By careful I mean, I can never put my weight on my right leg to support the rest of me, I can't swing my right leg too high for instance while crossing over a high gate on my dog walks, when I get out of my car, I have to swing both legs round and out of the car touching the ground and then lifting myself up on both feet (like old people do when they get out of cars). I am absolutely fed up with my condition. I worry about exercising, about gardening, about some type of work at my employers' as I had an attack that lasted 15 minutes only about a month ago. My life is miserable and my passion and hobby of weightlifting and exercise is on the backburner. I have no get up and go anymore to exercise when in the recent past I used to exercise almost daily and looking forward to it. What could be wrong? I have been reading up on femoral hernias but I am not quite sure if that is what I have. I have no lumps in my groin but I do have a lump in my left armpit (which I have had for about 6 months now) which has been investigated by bloods through my GP and haeamtologists who have both felt it was nothing to worry about. Any advice would be highly valued.


88 Replies

  • ariel27 ariel27

    I just wondered if you have been investigated for degeneration of the

    symphasis pubis. That can cause pain in the groin area and bring you to a standstill. However I would have thought that that would show up on an X ray.

  • Hazelnut Hazelnut

    I once had quite excrutiating pain in that same area, and it turned out to be a problem with my ovary enlarging. It was worse around "that time of the month". Ended up having a hysterectomy to cure the problem, but still kept the ovary.

  • wacky wacky

    Hello, I have a femoral hernia and after reading your story it sounds like thats exactly what it is. It is generally caused by over doing it with weights of some kind, either through work or leisure, plus three CS, again can weaken the area. You can just start with a weakening of the abdomen wall which can cause problems, then you can get a hole then you can get a larger hole with your abdomen coming out, by that time you will be diagnosed. The fact you cant lift your leg up is one of the tests a hernia consultant would do. I am having a nightmare getting mine diagnosed as there is no lump. Also you mention CS again that can cause a weakness. I have spent a lot of time researching femoral hernias as I need to know more than the consultant I am going to to put my case forward. I have been diagnosed with possible kidney stones, gall stones, appendix, been asked to go to gynea, physio - all because they cant diagnose the symptoms in a woman, there are only a small percentage of women who get them even though they have been around since Eve. How are you getting on, what examinations have you had.

  • m33r4 m33r4

    Thanks to all the above posts and I am truly grateful for the info you have given me as I now have more info to give to my clinicians.

    Since my post, I have been back to my GP who has referred me to the physiotherapists, despite me asking for another form of referral, to investigate this as I didn't feel the physios did anything for me the first time round (about 3 years ago). My GP however informed me that their referral protocol for such conditions was first through to a "triage" through the physiotherapists so that would be my only option. If the physio team felt that my condition was more of an orthopaedic one, then they would in turn make the internal referral. That was 3 weeks ago and I awaiting my first appointment with the physiotherapists.

    As for the lump in my armpit, my doctor has asked me get more bloods done and also referred me for an ultrasound for which I am awaiting an appointment too.

    What is the treatment for a femoral hernia?


  • wacky wacky

    Hi, if you look under "femoral hernia" on this site you will find out more information. If your physio has experience in hernias they may well pick up the signs, otherwise they wont. If you dont have an obvious bulge, then your intestines can pop out (which may be causing the sudden pain) then pop back in again, literally within seconds so it is difficult to diagnose by US, MRI, CT unless you are doing exactly what causes it. When the intestines pop out you would be in considerable pain because we are tightly packed and our female bits are very close. If you read other peoples experiences on websites like "herniabible" you will find that not all operations go well. Herniabible was set up to provide people with alternatives to operations, exercises, diets but also helpful discussion on the different methods used by surgeons. Its a minefield, tension mesh, non tension mesh etc etc. The operation itself is, I think, only 45 minutes, out the same day. But from what I have read, dont get a trainee doctor, make sure you know the complications associated with the operation and then how to look after yourself properly once you've had the operation. I think after reading the reply I had on the "femoral hernia" discussion I may ask for stitches. If I have a small hole then maybe I could try that first. What I have read is that if the mesh is causing problems then it is difficult to replace. The operation itself I believe is quite routine but my consultant has only operated on obese or older women who certainly arent going to be suddenly active so I wonder how good his surgery would be if they did decide to run the marathon 3 months after the operation. You may not have a hernia but as it is so easily misdiagnosed with everything else it is worth checking it out online but put in "hernia in sportswomen" the symptoms are related more to active younger women. Then you will get other symptoms that the run of the mill websites dont tell you ie "altered periods". Good luck, keep the forum uptodate as it does help other people in the same situation. Even if it turns out to be something else it is all good to know.

  • wacky wacky

    Quite a good article in - The New York Times called In "Women, Hernias May Be Hidden Agony". It seems this woman had four operations before diagnosis! What a nightmare.

  • m33r4 m33r4

    Thank you soooo much! That article from the New York Times is an eye opener. I will print this to take with me to the consultation. Although I will have the ultrasound, I will ask for an MRI if nothing is seen in the ultrasound.

    Will definitely keep this thread going as I progress to finding an answer to what is causing this.

  • wacky wacky

    I am afraid it isnt as easy as that. There is another article I saw which if I find I will post the info. Surgeons will not operate (nowadays, maybe for good reason though) unless they are absolutely sure you have the correct diagnosis. I am afraid with a hernia which can be a bulge and a hole, without the intestine coming through continually it requires a lot of experience and skill to find it. It requires the surgeon/consultant to understand your symptoms. Because so many men get Hernias their symptoms are generally similar, but with women the symptoms can differ. I have noticed my periods have become more painful but when I mentioned this to the consultant he looked at me as if I had gone mad. Previously for 37 years I had never had any problems - that still didnt enlighten him. You can say until your blue in the face that you have a hernia but the surgeon is very unlikely to operate unless he has felt it (you dont have a constant bulge), seen it on an US, CT or MRI, again a CT or MRI is likely NOT to show it as it pops in and out - in your case - not unusual. An Ultrasound is likely to show it, but only if you have a very experienced radiologist who knows about hernias, knows they dont pop out all the time, knows where to find it and uses his "mouse" (dont know what else to call it) to its full capacity. I know this because I have had three ultrasounds, 2 NHS, found nothing, they skimmed the top of my stomach and were expecting a bulge, they didnt have he faintest idea that you dont always get a bulge (intestines popping through), I have no bulge, mine came out gave me a lot of pain and then went back in where it has stayed - for the moment. My private US Radiologist did find it but he put the "mouse" very deeply into my abdomen and practically had it on its side - he really knew what he was doing but I think from what I read on his CV he had been practising for 30 years. Also I told him what I had and I challenged him to find it. The NHS technicians on the other hand didnt have a clue how to find the hernia, I am being unfair but if you just skim on the top of the stomach you wont find it, hernias are quite deep, otherwise you would be able to pinpoint the pain exactly. I had an MRI because my consultant wanted me to have it, I had to pay for it. I relented in the end as I wanted a diagnosis, I had read that it was unlikely to show my hernia, the MRI showed a cyst on my ovaries which I believe is right next to where my femoral canal is (bulge and hole) and as I have an open wound (femoral hernia) is likely to cause a few problems in that area, my MRI didnt show my hernia. So dont think an MRI will show it, the chances are it wont. There is a special technique that hernia consultants use (my consultant didnt he just felt for lumps, I cough etc) that I have read on this website, a leaflet on how to diagnose hernias which in some way might send you into agony but locates the site where the pain is. Palatable examination (cant remember exact words). Again it would be a very experienced consultant who would know how to do it. Also you do need to do your research and make sure that you do think you have a femoral hernia. If you get the pain when weight lifting you need to use the weights to find out where the pain is coming from, maybe lift weights when seeing the physio, show the physio where the pain is coming from. Its trying to think out of the box and get yourself diagnosed. Again if having an ultrasound maybe you could lift weights at the same time. I know this sounds like madness but the lady I met at my first US scan had to wait two years for a diagnosis. She refused to go to physio, as her doctor had asked, because she was a gymnast and she knew what groin strain was. She in the end did something that brought the intestines out long enough for the US person to see them. He was beside himself because he had never seen two at the same time. The other thing to do is look at the Herniabible and try the exercises they recommend, they seem to say it will help. To be honest I havent bothered. I am furious that the doctors arent picking up femoral hernias but be warned you may be fobbed off to all different departments first, they just dont know enough. Good luck and if I find that other post I will put info on. Remember I am not a doctor, just bear in mind what I say.

  • wacky wacky

    I sent the above article to my consultant, he replied (I remember now) that it was rather out of date - hmmm

    I then found this one, which is much more detailed but explains what I have said much better,

    "His and Hers Hernias: Pelvic pain culprit tough to diagnose in women"

    the above article was written 9/6/11 by Huffington Post.

    Please keep in touch and let us/me know how you get on even if its just a moan.

  • wacky wacky

    Just been thinking.............

    If you went to your GP and you were a man and said that you had

    Pain in groin area

    Then dull ache

    Cant swing leg as high as normal

    Immense pain when weight lifting - unable to continue

    Nothing in blood (its not a disease it is a rupture, like a fracture)

    Your GP would immediately say "sounds like a hernia"

    Dont give up gardening, I am an avid gardener and do everything, and I keep going, I feel tired quickly which I believe is my body compensating for the infection/open wound but I still keep going. You wont keep me down. Even if it eventually strangulates which they say is common - who knows, certainly not the doctors - then you would know about it and go to A&E. Just make sure you get a highly experienced surgeon. (I would jump off the operating table if a trainee was rubbing his hands with glee) I do pick up heavy items still but I am careful how I do it, use other muscles, bend at the legs, let the thighs take the strain - the gardens got to look good! It hasnt caused me pain yet but like you I am careful. You do need to keep fit, so dont hold back, just stop if it causes you pain or your leg plays up. I go to Zumba and other dance classes which causes me no problems. My GP is on the same page as me, she diagnosed me.

    As for your lump in the armpit, I have never heard of a link but I am sure you realise that.

  • m33r4 m33r4

    Hello again!

    It has taken me a long time to get seen by the OT 2 weeks ago. She was a young woman but certainly knew how to find a diagnosis after various balance tests, direct questioning, types of positions that bring on the "attack", if turning in bed brings it on etc, which she then diagnosed supported by an X ray image of the pelvic area I had years ago.

    In a few words:

    The OT doesn't believe I have a hernia although she has said it is hard to find a hernia that does not obviously protrude.

    The OT believes I have Femora Acetabula Impingement - my X ray image shows that the top bone of my pelvis protrudes more on my right and so when the leg bone scrapes against this, it causes impingement which leads to the severe/debilitating pain attacks in the area rendering me momentarily incapacited.

    The OT has since written to my GP advising an MRI scan of the pelvic area to determine any cartilage damage (I have not yet heard from my GP about this proposed MRI scan referral).

    When I asked the OT about treatment options, she informed me that this is a lottery postcode and that unfortunately where I live in Derbyshire, treatment for this is not available on the NHS.

    Apparently treatment options consist of either shaving a few mm off this protruding bone or repairing damage to cartilage (an MRI will determine damage of cartilage, if any).

    I asked the OT if this protrusion has been caused by injury but she said this is something I have always had. This now begs the question whether I have caused injury to the area at some point in my life to create the "problem".

    I have not had this problem my entire life so I am wondering if my gait is exacerbating this condition.

    I have not had a severe "attack" for a while now, which I put down to me being careful how I move.

  • m33r4 m33r4

    Update on the lump in my left armpit:

    About 4 weeks ago, I have been seen by the ultrasonographer Consultant who did a thorough ultrasound of my neck, shoulders and armpits and assured me the lump looked absolutely harmless.

    He advised if it changes in future and I was worried, to go back to my GP but as far as he was concerned I had nothing to worry about.

  • wacky wacky

    Hi, glad you are keeping us informed. What is an OT?

    I dont have problems while sleeping, which you have.

    Femoral hernias are very difficult to find as I am finding out. My 3rd private consultant has sent me for an MRI on my lower back, discovered a prolapsed disc and suggests that my problems might all be caused by this. He will do an exploratory if this Orthopeadic Surgeon doesnt think the numbness in my thigh is linked to my prolapsed disc. I have never had back pain and I lift very heavy items, so was completely unaware of this prolapsed disc, it is mild mind you.

    Did you have these pains in your leg and groin when you had this first xray that shows an earlier problem?

    When and if they operate will it be in the same area as a femoral hernia, if so it would hopefully rule that out anyway?

    If you are managing to cope with your problems and keep the pain at bay by moving carefully would you still want an operation, especially one where they are going to take bone off?

    Unfortunately I am suffering bladder infections and constipation as well as a constant stinging in my groin area but I completely overdo it, I still use heavy machinery to garden with and just keep going. This is strengthing my muscles but my groin is constantly being irritated.

    Did you ask the consultant if weight lifting would affect this problem you have.

    Its a difficult one. Your consultant may very well be completely right. My consultants have spent more time talking to me than examining me. Also they are all men and they have no idea about womens bodies like women have.

    Please tell me what you think.

  • wacky wacky

    Its me again. How long do you have to wait for your MRI. I have had mine done privately, £500 for one part. As I had to wait 5 weeks for my US I have been presuming that an MRI would take much longer? I am in London mind you.

  • weepeecee weepeecee

    Have found this thread very interesting.........I have had severe and at times completely debilitating pain in my right groin area. It comes on suddenly and if walking I can struggle to put weight onto my right leg and need to bend and hold the painful area to experience any relief to allow me to continue to walk.

    The pain appears while walking, resting, moving etc.

    I spoke to my GP and he recommended co-codomol and anti-inflamatory cream -neither helped and I am still in the same amount of pain as I was when it first started a month ago. I initially thought I had pulled a muscle or suchlike having spent the day with my two toddler grandchildren however, the first sign of pain - and it was intense was when I stood up from a sitting position.

    I will return to health centre to consult a woman GP asap - any advice for the place to start a discussion?

    • Kookywit Kookywit weepeecee

      I've got exactly the same symptoms, which started off as a Herniated Disc and then I started doing physiotherapy the lower back pain went to the hip and then the groin. Sometimes makes  my leg give way when I walk. I have to be very careful. I had a MRI Scan which showed quite a lot of damage to the spine, but now the problem seems concentrated to the groin. It's agony and I've had an X-Ray of the hips, next is an Ultra Sound to see if it can diagnose something. I love travelling and adventure, now my life's on "HOLD" What a nightmare! I'm in Brazil doing a mixture of NHS. & Private. I don't think I've got a Hernia. Otherwise extremely healthy and WAS active , haven't been for seven months , I think I've aged twenty years since this started!  Feel like an old woman.

    • rosemary06881 rosemary06881 Kookywit

      Hi Kookywit - I know what you mean about feeling old! I feel as if I walk like my 75 yr old mother-in-law; very depressing! I'm looking into acetabular labrum tears now, following another comment on this thread. Would love to get back into dancing again, but don't yet trust my hip to follow me! Good luck.

    • Kookywit Kookywit rosemary06881

      I read all the news and info on Hernias, but personally I've always kept my muscles in very good shape. Still do planks and some stretching exercises, it takes so long to get the exams done. No lumps in armpit , or anywhere else for that matter! Thank God! When I sit for more than a few minutes it becomes impossible to walk normally, the pain is intense and feels as though I'm going rotten in the groin! AGONY! radiates down the thigh muscles  to the knee. Then my knee starts hurting , as though I'm walking differantly or something. I think the general posture is affected by the body's effort to ameliorate the pain. I try to wlak normally with head held high and NOT LIMP!  I suppose I have to stop taking ant-inflammatory before I have the Ultra-Sound. Because inflamtion shows up on it & if you' re taking medication I should think it would be counterproductive. I had ONE day with no pain! What joy! felt like a human being again. I think it was the anti-inflammatory before bed that hepled me sleep well and woke up PAIN FREE! Nice to be able to share one's woes!

    • marla38420 marla38420 Kookywit

      Hear ya....i wear a pelvic belt which helps keep my hips and pelvis straight but doesn't help pain. I hate this. I can go months feeling fine and boom. Back with a vengeance. Not fun! Keep in touch! Marla

    • Kookywit Kookywit marla38420

      Hi, there! I've since discovered via Orthopedist that I DON'T have a Herniated Disc. He disagreed with The Report on the MRI Scan, and sent me to have more X-Rays. Standing Up from the sides(Profile) and lying down on my sides(Profile), also an Electroneuromiograph. Which is not a funny procedure. firts they put elctrodes on the muscles of one leg, give you varying degrees of electric shocks, then the other. After that they stick long needles in the muscles and send the shocks down the needle into the muscles. They compare one leg with the other. It's a qualified specialized Doctor who does it, he talked to me the whole time he was doing the procedure as it hurt quite a bit. Anyway looks like I have nerve damage in one leg from stenosis. Now The Orthopedist studies ALL the exams I did and will diagnose the problem and tell me what treatement he thinks best. He only operates in last instance. So I'm waiting for the outcome . Taking an Anti-inflamatory to help sleep. At the moment only got a pain in hip and sometimes my leg gives way. BAD pain in hip. I take Codeine once in a while, 30mgs but doesn't do much good, bit worried about getting addicted to it , or the pain getting worse after the effect wears off!

    • annette46091 annette46091 Kookywit

      Hi There,

      I am from Australia, I am 49 year old woman and I am having the exact pain, I put it down o hard rubbish removal but becuase I do volunteer work at my local hospital I am finding my knee hurts so much as well, that I have to rest the whole afternoon, I work Mon0Fri in Admin and sometimes the pain is so intense I feel like I cant walk up the stairs, seriously is there anything that can be done, I am average build (Aus size 12) and nearly 5"10 I am going CRAZY, I never know when its' coming and I dont want work thinking I have to have time off

  • dianesdestiny dianesdestiny

    I am in the US. I am having the very similar symptoms including a lump in my left armpit. The pain is most intense when I stand from a sitting position. Often it is severe enough to make me catch my breath and swear under my breath. I am very careful now to wait several seconds after standing to be sure my leg will bear the weight. The last few days the pain has been radiating down into my thigh. I can walk once I am sure I can put full weight on it. Will make an appointment with my doctor now that I have read these posts and will let you know what learn.

  • samantha66063 samantha66063

    Hello, I'm a 24 year old female and I have a multitude of problems that started this year... However, recently I developed a vaginal yeast infection. I took the medicine to get ride of it, but was still having pain (like cramping and aches) and frequent urination. I took another antifungal and the obgyn said they did not see any more yeast and my UTI tests came out negative. One day I developed in between a stabbing and dull pain in my lower right groin. I went to the emergency room because the pain persisted and only got worse and did not subside with medicine. They did an ultrasound and set me home to go back to the obgyn. Then I was referred to a surgeon to see if I had a hernia. This all started monday and it is now friday and I still have this pain. I saw the surgeon this morning and said she did not see or feel a hernia and said she would definitely be able to tell because I am fit and do not have extra fat in that area. She stated that where she was pressing (which is where my pain was and intensified as she pushed on it) is where a hernia would be. Long story - short- she is sending me to a GI, and said I have a couple options she can do a colonoscopy or go in laproscopically to see if maybe there is something in my colon causing issues or possibly an issue with my appendix (guess the emergency room didnt think it was that) or if I had the start of a hernia. I really don't want any invasive procedures... with all my all my other unexplained issues, I have already had most the tests in the book. Anyways, I am still in a lot of pain. The surgeon also mentioned that I could possibly have issues with my back (I mentioned my lower back was in pain). She stated that the nerves in your lower back wrap around towards the front. If anyone can help with this PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know... I have been through a lot of pain that no one can figure out this year and this is just another. I would really like to have a baby in a couple years and obviously can't if I'm not healthy.

  • weepeecee weepeecee

    I am sorry to read both comments above, however the most recent message refers to similar pain as my own.

    I am still experiencing the same or similar pain in my right groin area and have difficulty in standing from sitting position. I also experience pain from movement when in bed. I found the information on 'femoral hernia' very useful but not yet had any further medical consultation.

    • iloveyourbling iloveyourbling weepeecee

      I have the same problem you are having. I had a CT done ten months ago and all came back clear. I also had a knee X-ray done and it was clear. last week I could not take it anymore and went to the ER. They did a ultrasound of my groin and found it to be clear. I started crying and the Dr. said, but I had a friend in CT whom is a Dr to look at your CT again and he said they must have been looking for a stone because this girls problem is in her hip. I was flipped, no one wants to hear that. So it's 1:19am and I am scheduled for an MRI @9:00am.I am scared to death and I am in chronic pain. I will post my results as soon as I am given them. I cannot live with this pain, this is horrible.

  • m33r4 m33r4

    Hello everyone.

    samantha66063 - get checked for a PID - pelvic inflammatory disease. My 19 year daughter had same symptoms as you and after weeks and months of not knowing what it is, she had several swab tests done (vaginal) and finally the last swab came back showing PID although the other countless swabs never showed this. A 2 week course of strong antibiotics (namely Doxycline and Metronidazole) will need to be taken twice a day. Pain could only be managed by Codeine 30mg (again prescription only). Paracetamol and Ibuprofen both failed to give relief. My daughter had to go to the hospital Accident & Emergency who did all these further tests for her. She was given morphine which didn't help and an injected muscle relaxant was administered. She stayed overnight and was discharged with PID on antibiotics and codeine. Over 8 days later she still has pain.

    I hope you get better.

    • CandyAbbott CandyAbbott m33r4

      Thanks for sharing. My pain was minimal compared to your daughter. The X-rays showed some wear and tear on my hip, and the doctor prescribed physical therapy which is helping. I still have to be careful not to put weight on it when I turn. So sorry about what your daughter is going through. Hopefully, 2016 will be much improved . . . totally healed.


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