Rupture of the rectus abdominis muscle with hematoma is unusual enough so that few surgeons have much experience in its diagnosis and management. It has been referred to variously as "apoplexy of the abdominal wall," "rupture of the epigastric vessels," and "hematoma of the rectus sheath." The pathology is known to be rupture of fibers of either rectus abdominis muscle with some degree of tear in the corresponding epigastric vessels.
It is recorded that Hippocrates was aware of the existence of rectus abdominis hematoma. Payne11 in 1938, in a review of the existing literature, was able to collect 165 cases for analysis. Thomas16 collected only 32 cases occurring during pregnancy, up until 1943. Teske15 in 1946 reviewed in detail 100 cases collected from the literature. The last extensive review, by Furste,4 covered the period of 1938 through 1956, 84 cases being surveyed, to which he