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Ilioinguinal Nerve Pain: Causes and Treatment

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 4/1/2010

Ilioinguinal nerve pain can be caused by surgery and a trauma that occurs in the abdominal region. Learn the causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment of ilioinguinal nerve pain.

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    The ilioinguinal nerve is located above the iliac crest (upper ridge of the hip bone) and travels into the groin. This nerve provides sensation to the upper inner thigh, groin, and perineum. The perineum is between the anus and the scrotum in men. In women, the perineum is located between the anus and vaginal (labia) opening.

    The size of the ilioinguinal nerve is in inverse proportion to that of the iliohypogastric. Occasionally, the nerve is very small and ends by joining the iliohypogastric. When this occurs, a branch from the iliohypogastric takes the place of the ilioinguinal nerve, or the latter nerve may be altogether absent.

    ilioinguinal nerve pain usually does not occur spontaneously but occurs from a trauma or a procedure difficulty. In this article you will learn the causes of this nerve pain, signs and symptoms, and treatments.

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    Causes

    ilioinguinal nerve pain can be caused by damage that occurs from a trauma or during abdominal surgery. Several different can happen during a surgical procedure to causes ilioinguinal nerve damage.

    • A surgeon can sever through nerves when opening the abdominal cavity for a surgery.
    • The nerves in the ilioinguinal can become trapped due to muscular tension or spasms after a surgery has been performed.
    • The nerves can also be damaged any stretching or tugging that occurs doing a procedure.

    Damage to the ilioinguinal nerve during surgery is rare but can occur. Today, surgeons use more advanced techniques to prevent ilioinguinal nerve damage from happening.

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    Signs and Symptoms

    When the ilioinguinal nerve is damaged or entrapped, pain will occur in the inguinal area. The pain can radiate into the legs and groin area as well. ilioinguinal nerve pain has been mistaken for disorders such as cramping, endometriosis pain, a pulled groin muscle, or even a hernia. The pain can increase and cause a person to walk in a humped over position to help relieve pain.

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    Treatment

    The treatment for ilioinguinal nerve pain has steps taken when curing the symptoms of pain. Medication is the first line of therapy taken. The medications are similar to drugs that are prescribed to treat neuropathic pain. Both types of pain can be caused when the nerve fibers are damaged, injured, or cannot function properly.

    If the first step does not relieve the patients pain symptoms, a nerve block is performed. The ilionguinal nerve can be blocked by using a type of injection therapy. The treatment is considered to be both diagnostic and therapeutic. Depending on the nerve block results, future treatment can be considered. These treatments include nerve ablation (disables the nerve) and neuromodulation (pain control using spinal stimulation).

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    References

    About.com: Can Abdominal Surgery Cause Chronic Pelvic Nerve Pain? - http://pain.about.com/od/typesofchronicpain/f/surgery_and_pelvic_pain.htm

    Wise Geek: What Is the Ilioinguinal Nerve? - http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-ilioinguinal-nerve.htm