Fecal matter can become lodged in the lumen of the appendix leading to obstruction and infection. Obstruction can also occur due to adhesions, enlarged lymph nodes, foreign bodies, parasites etc.
Appendicitis is most common in teenagers. Males are affected slightly more than females.
Pain associated with appendicitis starts off in the peri-umbilical area due to distention of the appendix. This stimulates visceral afferent nerves at the T8-T10 level of the spine causing peri-umbilical pain.
As the inflammatory process continues, irritation of more local somatic fibers occurs leading to right lower quadrant pain.
Rebound tenderness on physical exam signifies peritoneal irritation.
This is pain when the patient flexes his/her right hip against resistance. This is specific but not sensitive for appendicitis.
This is located 1/3 of the distance from the anterior superior iliac spine to the umbilicus. This is the location of the base of the appendix.
Elevated white blood cell count is seen due to response to infection.
Fever is seen due to response to infection.
Removing the appendix is the gold standard treatment for appendicitis.
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