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Urology. 2005 Nov;66(5):949-52.

Anatomy of pudendal nerve at urogenital diaphragm--new critical site for nerve entrapment.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Danube Hospital, Vienna, Austria.



To investigate the relations of the pudendal nerve in this complex anatomic region and determine possible entrapment sites that are accessible for surgical decompression. Entrapment neuropathies of the pudendal nerve are an uncommon and, therefore, often overlooked or misdiagnosed clinical entity. The detailed relations of this nerve as it exits the pelvis through the urogenital diaphragm and enters the mobile part of the penis have not yet been studied.


Detailed anatomic dissections were performed in 10 formalin preserved hemipelves under 3.5x loupe magnification. The pudendal nerve was dissected from the entrance into the Alcock canal to the dorsum of the penis. The branching pattern of the nerve and its topographic relationship were recorded and photographs taken.


The anatomic dissections revealed that the pudendal nerve passes through a tight osteofibrotic canal just distal to the urogenital diaphragm at the entrance to the base of the penis. This canal is, in part, formed by the inferior ramus of the pubic bone, the suspensory ligament of the penis, and the ischiocavernous body. In two specimens, a fusiform pseudoneuromatous thickening was found.


The pudendal nerve is susceptible to compression at the passage from the Alcock canal to the dorsum of the penis. Individuals exposed to repetitive mechanical irritation in this region are especially endangered. Diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy can have additional compression neuropathy with decreased penile sensibility and will benefit from decompression of the pudendal nerve.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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