Despite the broad differential diagnosis in any patient referring with symptoms involving the chest or abdomen, a small number of conditions overshadow the rest by their probability. Chest and abdominal wall pain continues to constitute a common and expensive overlooked source of pain of unknown cause. In particular, cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome is commonly encountered but not easily diagnosed unless its specific symptoms are sought and the precise physical examination undertaken.
A primigravida woman with unbearable abdominal pain was referred repeatedly seeking a solution for her suffering. Numerous laboratory and imaging studies were employed in order to elucidate the cause of her condition. After numerous visits and unnecessary delay, the diagnosis was finally made by a physician fully versed in the field of torso wall pain. The focused physical examination disclosed abdominal cutaneous nerve entrapment syndrome as the diagnosis, and anesthetic infiltration led to immediate alleviation of her pain.
Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?
Cutaneous nerve entrapment is a common cause of abdominal pain that is reached on the basis of thorough history and physical examination alone. Knowledge dissemination of the various torso wall syndromes is imperative for prompt delivery of suitable care. All emergency physicians should be fully aware of this entity because the diagnosis is based solely on physical examination, and immediate relief can be provided in the framework of the first visit. Wider recognition of this syndrome will promise that such mishaps are not repeated in the future.
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Published online: March 27, 2018
Accepted: January 25, 2018
Received in revised form: December 4, 2017
Received: June 29, 2017
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