Transient femoral nerve palsy following ilioinguinal nerve block for inguinal hernioplasty

  • Isaac Assam Udo
  • Kingsley U. Umeh
  • Catherine S. Eyo
Keywords: Inguinal hernia, nerve block, transient femoral nerve palsy


Background: Elective inguinal hernia repair in young fit patients is preferably done under ilioinguinal nerve block anesthesia in the ambulatory setting to improve throughput, save cost, and increase patient satisfaction. A rare complication of ilioinguinal nerve block is transient femoral nerve palsy (TFNP).

Objectives: The aim of this study is to examine the incidence of TFNP among adults undergoing ambulatory inguinal hernia repair under ilioinguinal nerve block.

Patients and Methods: Patients 18 years and older in the American Society of Anesthetists classes I and II who underwent ambulatory inguinal hernia repair over a 3‑year period under ilioinguinal nerve block only were assessed for evidence of TFNP. All patients had power on the ipsilateral limb checked 30 min before and 1 h after the procedure. TFNP was considered present if there was sensory loss over the anterior aspect of the thigh, weakness of extension at the knee joint, or reduction in power of the ipsilateral limb.

Results: One hundred and twelve patients were involved in the study; 90 (80.3%) males and 22 (19.6%) females with the mean age of 45.7 years. All had normal power (Grade 5) in the ipsilateral limb before instituting the nerve block. Postoperatively, 3 (2.6%) patients had grade 4 and recovered normal power over a 2–6‑h period and were subsequently discharged.

Conclusion: TFNP is a rare complication of ilioinguinal nerve block which delays patient discharge postambulatory hernioplasty.

Keywords: Inguinal hernia, nerve block, transient femoral nerve palsy


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1117-6806
print ISSN: 1117-6806