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Papers of the Week

2020 Sep 30

Skeletal Radiol

Ultrasound-guided microwave ablation in the treatment of inguinal neuralgia.


Daniels SP, Xu HS, Hanna A, Greenberg JA, Lee KS
Skeletal Radiol. 2020 Sep 30.
PMID: 33000286.


Chronic groin pain can be due to a variety of causes and is the most common complication of inguinal hernia repair surgery. The etiology of pain after inguinal hernia repair surgery is often multifactorial though injury to or scarring around the nerves in the operative region, namely the ilioinguinal nerve, genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve, and the iliohypogastric nerve, is thought to be a key factor in causing chronic post-operative hernia pain or inguinal neuralgia. Inguinal neuralgia is difficult to treat and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Radiologists play a key role in the management of these patients by providing accurate image-guided injections to alleviate patient symptoms and identify the pain generator. Recently, ultrasound-guided microwave ablation has emerged as a safe technique, capable of providing durable pain relief in the majority of patients with this difficult to treat condition. The objectives of this paper are to review the complex nerve anatomy of the groin, discuss diagnostic ultrasound-guided nerve injection and patient selection for nerve ablation, and illustrate the microwave ablation technique used at our institution.