Tap block in chronic pain treatment: a case of entrapment syndrome of iliohypogastric and ilioininguinal nerves

  • Stefano Brauneis
  • Alessandra Vecchio
  • Cristina Babetto
  • Riccardo Bellucci
Keywords: tap block, entrapment of iliohypogastric and ilioininguinal nerves


The patient is a 42 years old woman with entrapment syndrome of the “nerves of passage” – ilioinguinal (IING) and
Iliohypogastric (IHPO) – after abdominal surgery.
The patient was suffering for IV stage infiltrating endometriosis and went through 13 abdominal surgical interventions
(laparoscopic and open). Consequently, she developed chronic neuropathic pain in the IING and IHPO areas, unresponsive to drug
Ultrasound images showed a subverted anatomy with fibrosis of the involved nerves.
After three TAP (transversus abdominis plane) block sessions the ultrasound sight resulted improved: a significant amount of
preexistent adhesions had lysed and pain was considerably reduced.
Temporarily, pain totally disappeared and gradually resume with different features in terms of intensity and continuity.
This case highlights the possibility to treat this kind of painful iatrogenic syndromes of injurious and adhesive nature with this
technique, with variations in imaging aspects as well as in clinical symptoms. In this particular case we did not get a total resolution
of pain, maybe due to the long history of the symptoms and their chronicity.
The study of a number of pain cases of more recent onset could be extremely useful in the evaluation of this technique, as suggested
by this case history.