Inflammation of the vermiform appendix. Most common surgical emergency.
Occurs when appendix becomes inflamed from ulceration – caused by faecal mass, foreign body, stricture, viral infection.
Clinical features – initially a central abdominal colic, then shifts to right iliac fossa; fever; tachycardia; coughing painful; shallow breaths; vomiting
Positive psoas sign – attempt to raise right thigh against examiners hand on right knee pain
Positive obturator sign – flex right hip and knee rotate leg internally pain
If left untreated abscess, perforation, peritonitis death
Differential diagnosis – ectopic pregnancy; food poisoning; diverticulitis; perforated ulcer; cystitis; Crohn’s disease
Complications – perforation ingested contents spill into abdominal cavity peritonitis
Management – appendicectomy is only effective treatment