Appendicitis: the symptoms

A crisis of appendicitis is revealed by very specific symptoms: most often it is a pain of the right iliac fossa (a little below and to the right of the navel), a moderate fever. This pain may be severe, with or without colic (paroxysmal abdominal pain).

The pain associated with appendicitis may radiate into the right thigh or towards the back. Sometimes walking or sitting causes pain because of a psoïtis which is the concomitant inflammation of the psoas muscle that is behind the appendix.

At the onset of the appendicitis attack, nausea and vomiting are rare. There may be fever, it is low, the general condition is preserved.

Another symptom: at the clinical examination, the doctor reproduces the pain by pressing exactly where it hurts: at the point of Mac Burney, located on a virtual line between the navel and the bone that one feels on the side of the hip (the anterior superior iliac spine of the pelvic bone) between the outer 1/3 and the inner 2/3.

At this level the abdomen is not flexible, it is said that it "defends itself", while the rest of the belly is neither painful nor contracted.

A radiograph of the abdomen without preparation is sometimes required to look for possible perforation of a peptic ulcer, or intestinal obstruction (although it would not eliminate appendicitis).

An ultrasound is also often performed. These examinations make it possible - among other things - to ensure that the problems complained of by the patient are not due to other causes: gynecological (for women), bladder, etc.

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Read also :

> Stomach ache: a symptom with multiple causes
> Bowel pain: causes of treatment
> Peptic ulcer (UGD)

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