How is neuropathic flank pain characterized when it involves the 10th, 11th, or 12th ribs?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Bradley C Gill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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When the pathology involves the 10th, 11th, or 12th ribs, the discomfort mimics renal colic in its distribution and is usually described as sharp or stabbing. The pain is often acute and can radiate anteriorly and inferiorly. Movement exacerbates the pain. Similarly, the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can also produce pain by stretching renal parenchymal innervation that travels along the renal artery. The diagnosis and treatment of radicular pain can be challenging, often requiring a multi-disciplinary approach.

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