Obturator Nerve Injury: Obturator? Get Me The Surgeon General!

When talking to women who are suffering the consequences after pelvic mesh implant surgery, the obturator nerve is one of the most common injuries they describe because transobturator tapes (slings) cause mesh trouble. Your obturator nerve begins at your psoas major muscle, travels through your obturator foramen (an opening in the pelvic bone) and then enters your thigh, where it divides into two branches, anterior and posterior.

1 OBturator nerve
Signs & Symptoms
•    Pain localized to medial thigh radiating to groin or knee
•    Pain exacerbated with activity
•    Adductor weakness
•    Paresthesia over medial aspect of distal thigh
•    Loss of adductor tendon reflex with preservation of other lower extremity reflexes
•    Positive EMG (electromyogram)  and nerve conduction tests.

Damage to this nerve can be felt as pain, numbness your skin on the inside of your thighs and weakness of your thighs. This injury can affect the workings of you hip and knee joints and your abductor muscles and gracilis muscle which move the thighs when they close.

Your obturator nerve can be damaged through injury to your nerve itself, but also when the surrounding tissue is injured, causing swelling and inflammation which constricts blood flow inside the nerve itself.

Treatment: Mild damage to your obturator nerve can be treMESH IS FOR STRAWBERRIESated with physical therapy, including stretching, deep tissue massage, and ultrasound. Medication for pain and anti-inflammatory drugs may help. More severe cases may require surgery to release the anterior division through the obturator canal.


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.

Subscribe to PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com to learn more about pelvic mesh. I’d like to hear from you if you are helped by what you read here or if you need to know more about any particular topic. Comment below or email me privately at daywriter1@gmail.com..


4 responses to “Obturator Nerve Injury: Obturator? Get Me The Surgeon General!

  1. Pingback: You’re On My Last Nerve, Doc! – Neuromuscular Mesh Trouble | MESH TROUBLES

  2. Very Informative and well written! Thank you!!

  3. Is there anyone else out there who had my type of mesh implant, or am I all alone? in 1990 I had laparotomy for obturator hernia. Unknown to me, mesh was implanted. I did not walk for several months due to severe foot drop and excruciating pain. No one mentioned ‘mesh’ as the possible cause. I was diagnosed with sciatic (S1/S2, L4/L5) and obturator nerve injuries. For 26 years I suffered with chronic sciatic neuropathy, CRPS, hyperesthesia, paresthesia, etc. from butt to toes. Then a year ago I thought I had another hernia as pain and swelling had returned to my groin and inner thigh. This pain has increased and spread to the pubic bone, pelvic area, abdominal side, ……… and I can no longer do much on my feet, nor can sit comfortably. I’ve been diagnosed with migration of, and degraded, mesh. Several mesh removal surgeons have all told me removal is impossible and would be deadly. My only hope is when I can get to see a neurosurgeon, and much prayer.

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