You’re On My Last Nerve, Doc! – Neuromuscular Mesh Trouble

If you’ve ever had your leg go to sleep, you know what neural pain and numbness feels like. There are so many nerves in the pelvis and legs that I could write a 10,000 word blog and still miss some of them. Neuromuscular pain complications after pelvic surgery are complicated and distressing, to say the least. It is a topic that we plan to cover frequently in the future. For today, our will focus will be on nerve injuries caused by mesh surgery, whether it was from putting the mesh in, making revisions, or taking it out. One study found post operative nerve injury affects about 2 percent of pelvic surgery patients but this number may be missing a whole lot of people who don’t return to complain.

MESH is for butterflies 3

Nerve pain that does not get better within 6 months of surgery changes your life in the most miserable way. There is no way to get comfortable, moving hurts and resting hurts.  It is hard to get it off your mind, especially when you try to sleep. You find yourself having to learn new ways to cope. Treatment is fraught with trial and errors.

While you are having pelvic surgery, your nerves are in danger for several reasons. First, they can be ligated (cut), either accidentally or intentionally. Also, a nerve can become compressed or stretched by the way your body is positioned for surgery (see photos), or when instruments like retractors or clamps are used incorrectly, or after a blood clot develops. Lastly, after the surgery, swelling and inflammation can injure your nerves. It is called post surgery inflammatory neuropathy.

hips flexed Trendelenberg arm stretched

Pain, paresthesias (“pins and needles,” burning, tingling, a feeling like there is a cotton sheet over your skin, numbness), loss of sensation and weakness are the most common feelings you have when you have a nerve injury.

Ten common mesh surgery nerve injuries involve:
•    Obturator Nerve
•    Ilioinguinal/iliohypogastric Nerve
•    Genitofemoral Nerve
•    Femoral Nerve
•    Pudendal Nerve Entrapment
•    Common Fibular Nerve
•    Sapenous Nerve
•    Piriformis Syndrome
•    Sciatica
•    Fibular Neuropathy
•    Peripheral Neuropathy



Some patients have more than one nerve injury. One even called hers the “mesh trifecta: sciatica, obturator and pudendal nerve damage.”

Look for your nerve injury in our drawings. If this helped you, please let us know. What else would you like to learn about? PelvicMeshOwnersGuide


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 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


4 responses to “You’re On My Last Nerve, Doc! – Neuromuscular Mesh Trouble

  1. Thank you so much, Peggy, for the research you are doing to help others. You are credible because you do the research (And you know Bruce ; – )
    How did you find me? Just curious. And, what ordeal led you to do the service you are providing? I truly appreciate your huge efforts. I’m a body full of mesh – too many areas – if you need any input about certain symptoms. Again, thank you so much!

    • Thank you for your encouragement. I sent you a private message and hope that you can find help for both pelvic mesh and hernia mesh. So sorry you are dealing with all of this. Nobody should deal with mesh alone.

  2. Valerie Thayer

    I am hesitant to discuss the details of my injuries on the internet. But lately, I have a new and unexpected problem. I have multiple nerve damage and other conditions due to the TVM surgeries. So here’s my new problem: I am STRESSED to the max. Sometimes, its unconscious and I suddenly realize my entire body is “clenched”. Other times I’m clenched because I’m worried about making ends meet; I’m disabled. So … now, I have been without Dental Insurance for 4 years (because I’m poor and I have a kid in college). Over the past month, I have broken three teeth. I’m pretty sure they were teeth with old fillings that I forced to break apart by clenching. I’m not a dentist (obviously) but, I think I need these partial/sharp teeth extracted. I probably need a few crowns and a root canal. That’s thousands of dollars! The mere thought makes me STRESSED. Today, I had trouble eating a pretzel. Maybe I’ll lose weight? (Silver lining?). So here I am, drinking a beer and applying ambesol on my gum line. In my mind, this is TVM related. If I didn’t have that surgery, I’d still be working, living in my big house, driving my BMW and having dental insurance!

    Am I alone? Are other people having dental problems?

    • The financial ruin is so prevalent, it seems like the world has turned topsy-turvy. Have you thought of a GoFundMe? People have started them for lesser problems than yours, which seem overwhelming. Have heard of others with dental problems, but is it the result of the lack of healthy food at an affordable price, or aging, or clenching, as you said, not sure if anyone knows.

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