Ilioinguinal and Genitofemoral Nerve Block

Frequently Asked Questions on Ilioinguinal/Genitofemoral Nerve Block

What is an Ilioinguinal/Genitofemoral Nerve Block?

This is a non-surgical and minimally invasive treatment designed to eliminate chronic pain. The nerve block can help with chronic testicular, groin, penile, and pelvic pain. It offers both therapeutic relief and pain management by reducing the pain signals that are coming from the nerves. The Ilioinguinal and the Genitofemoral nerve roots overlap and it is really hard to tell where the pain is coming from and effectively block the nerves individually.

How does it work?

They will clean your groin, thigh, and abdomen with an antiseptic to prevent infection. A local anesthetic and sometimes a steroid will be administered via needle close to the nerve to block signals from reaching your brain. The steroid that is used is usually cortisone which keeps the inflammation down.

What should you expect?

You will feel a little pressure during the procedure. It will be minimal and you will start to feel the results immediately. You may feel a little tenderness at the injection site after the procedure. This procedure will likely reduce the pain significantly and immediately. It can last for several months or over a year. It may not take the pain away altogether but can lower the amount of pain that the patient experiences.

What are the risks?

This is a safe procedure but there are some risks just like with any procedure. There are some possible complications and side effects. One of the most common side effects is to have temporary pain where the needle was injected. Some other risks that are not as common are bleeding, infection, or an injection into surrounding organs or blood vessels. These are uncommon because additional precautions are taken to prevent them. Ultrasound or guidance through the use of x-ray will help make the targeted area easy to see to minimize the risk involved.

What are the causes for needing this procedure?

When you sit for long periods of time, do a lot of bike riding, or receive trauma that compresses the nerves in this area, you may feel chronic pain. If the nerve endings are numb, they can’t send the signal to the brain. In essence they turn off the nerve that is sending the pain signal to the brain so that you don’t feel the pain.

How long does it work?

Results are different for everyone but most people will notice that the pain subsides for one to four weeks. The procedure can be repeated if the pain persists. Some patients do experience a total reduction in pain or a long term loss of pain.

References

Harsha Shanthanna, “Successful Treatment of Genitofemoral Neuralgia Using Ultrasound Guided Injection: A Case Report and Short Review of Literature,” Case Reports in Anesthesiology, vol. 2014, Article ID 371703, 4 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/371703

Sasaoka, M. Kawaguchi, K. Yoshitani, H. Kato, A. Suzuki, and H. Furuya

Evaluation of Genitofemoral nerve block, in addition to Ilioinguinal and Iliohypogastric nerve block, during inguinal hernia repair in children

Br. J. Anaesth. (2005) 94 (2): 243-246 first published online November 26, 2004 doi:10.1093/bja/aei031

Parris, D., Fischbein, N., Mackey, S., & Carroll, I. (2010). A Novel CT-Guided Transpsoas Approach to Diagnostic Genitofemoral Nerve Block and Ablation. Pain Medicine, 11(5), 785-789. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00835.x