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[Perspectives] Inguinal hernia truss

A hernia, Dr Samuel Johnson wrote in his Dictionary (1755) is “any kind of rupture, diversified by the name of the part affected”, an accurate definition even now. Some common ones, for instance, oesophageal, needed advanced diagnostic techniques to spot them. Others, such as the strangulated umbilical hernia that caused the death of Queen Caroline in 1737, would have required only careful physical examination to identify (royal status was such that direct examination of the abdomen was unacceptable).