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17.08.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2017

Hernia 5/2017

Pain and compression neuropathy in primary inguinal hernia

Zeitschrift:
Hernia > Ausgabe 5/2017
Autoren:
R. Wright, D. E. Born, N. D’Souza, L. Hurd, R. Gill, D. Wright

Abstract

Purpose

Enlargement of the ilioinguinal nerve at the external inguinal ring is observed in 34% of patients undergoing primary open inguinal herniorrhaphy; in 88% of patients it occurs at the fascial edge where the hernia mushrooms with abdominal pressure. Compression neuropathy occurs near many anatomical nerve constriction sites and is associated with enlargement of the peripheral nerve accompanied by sensory changes.

Methods

In this prospective study, Carolina Comfort Scale (CCS) questionnaire data was collected for 35 primary hernia repairs. Each patient underwent primary inguinal herniorrhaphy that included ilioinguinal neurectomy. All nerves were sampled proximal to the external inguinal ring. Any nerves with grossly increased overall diameter to any degree distal to the external ring were additionally sampled in the thickened portions. A neuropathologist performed histologic evaluation of the H&E-stained cross sections.

Results

Paired comparison of proximal and distal nerves revealed a greater overall diameter and greater measured nerve-specific diameter in distal nerve segments. Nerves with increased overall diameter were also found to have a statistically significant positive correlation with four of eight pain measures. Additionally, increased nerve-specific diameter correlates with increased pain on four of eight pain values, but age effect on nerve diameter blunts this finding.

Conclusions

Increased preoperative CCS pain values in primary open inguinal hernia are significantly correlated with gross enlargement of the overall diameter and nerve-specific diameter of the ilioinguinal nerve beyond the external inguinal ring. This is consistent with a compression neuropathy.

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