If your pain is in your inner thigh, it may be your genitofemoral nerve causing the mesh trouble. Seventeen percent of surgical pelvic injuries found in one study involved an injury to the genitofemoral nerve. Commonly called, “genitofemoral neuralgia,” it occurs when this nerve is compressed or injured anywhere along its route during pelvic surgery, caused by either cutting or blunt pressure from retractors. The nerve innervates upper region of your inner thigh and part of your genitals.
Your genitofemoral nerve originates from your L1 and L2 lumber nerve roots and then passes through your psoas major muscle and splits into two branches, the genital and femoral branches. Each (right and left) femoral branch travels through your inguinal ligament and ends at your inner thighs. Each genital branch runs its course through your inguinal canal and ends in your vaginal area. It also innervates your uterus.
Symptoms of genitofemoral nerve injury:
• Burning pain and numbness in the lower region of abdomen radiating to inner upper thigh.
• Pain is felt in labia majora in your pelvis.
Genitofemoral pain does not radiate as far as your knee. In certain positions the pain is felt more, such as when you extend your spine, so you may find yourself bending forward to relieve your pain. You may also experience the loss of sensation in your inner thigh and vagina as well.
Treatment: Mild damage to your genitofemoral nerve can be treated with physical therapy, including stretching, deep tissue massage, and ultrasound. Avoid squatting or sitting for a long time to keep from aggravating your symptoms. Medication for pain and anti-inflammatory drugs may help. Nerve block has been found to be effective in some cases. Low intensity laser therapy has been found effective in most cases. More severe cases may require surgery to release the anterior division through the obturator canal.
Naturopaths recommend acupressure and acupuncture are other alternative modes, certain herbs such as lobelia, white sage, and valerian root, known to be effective in nerve disease.
Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. This is an excerpt from Pelvis in Flames: Your Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Your input is welcome to help make Pelvis in Flames the book you need to read.
If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, join my group, Surgical Mesh or check the list of support groups here.
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