Ilioinguinal Neuropathy

Ilioinguinal neuropathy is caused by damage or dysfunction of the ilioinguinal nerve.  Damage to the nerve can occur during surgery, or due to trauma of the abdomen or pelvis, which can lead to persistent pain. The ilioinguinal nerve branches off the first lumbar nerve (lower back) and travels through the second and third abdominal muscles. This nerve is responsible for communication with the iliohypogastric nerve and some sensation and function of the pubic regions in both males and females.

Symptoms of Ilioinguinal Neuropathy

Neuropathic pain is often described as sharp, shooting, or throbbing.  This pelvic nerve pain may be felt in the abdomen, in the lower back, or between the legs.  It can be present periodically, or be more persistent.  It is commonly felt more strongly when lying down.

What are the Causes of Ilioinguinal Neuropathy?

  • Metabolic factors: such as high blood glucose, duration of diabetes diagnosis, abnormal blood fat levels and, possibly, low levels of insulin
  • Neurovascular Factors:  leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves. Patients who have recently had surgery in the abdomen area are at risk because of this. Other contributing factors include sitting on a bicycle seat, or something similar, for extended periods.
  • Autoimmune factors  that cause inflammation in nerves
  • Mechanical injury

How is Ilioinguinal Neuropathy Diagnosed?

  • A physical exam, usually consisting of: blood pressure check, heart rate, muscle strength, reflexes, sensitivity to position changes, vibration, temperature or light touch
  • Ultrasound
  • Electromyography
  • Quantitative Sensory Testing
  • Nerve or skin biopsy

(Not all evaluations and tests may be necessary)

Ilioinguinal Neuropathy Treatment

  • Anticonvulsants
  • Steroid Injections
  • Surgical Intervention

We offer ultrasound guided diagnostic injections with local anaesthetic followed by therapeutic injections with cortisone nerve block injections, physiotherapy, acupuncture, active exercises, medication, psychotherapy, biofeedback, and TENS/MET devices for patients who suffer from ilioinguinal neuropathy.



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