Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

, Volume 39, Issue 11, pp 1215–1221 | Cite as

Pudendal nerve terminal motor latency influences surgical outcome in treatment of rectal prolapse

  • Elisa H. Birnbaum
  • Linda Stamm
  • Janice F. Rafferty
  • Robert D. Fry
  • Ira J. Kodner
  • James W. Fleshman
Original Contributions


Purpose: This study was undertaken to document the effect of pudendal nerve function on anal incontinence after repair of rectal prolapse. METHODS: Patients with full rectal prolapse (n=24) were prospectively evaluated by anal manometry and pudendal nerve terminal motor latency (PNTML) before and after surgical correction of rectal prolapse (low anterior resection (LAR; n=13) and retrorectal sacral fixation (RSF; n=11)). RESULTS: Prolapse was corrected in all patients; there were no recurrences during a mean 25-month follow-up. Postoperative PNTML was prolonged bilaterally (>2.2 ms) in six patients (3 LAR; 3 RSF); five patients were incontinent (83 percent). PNTML was prolonged unilaterally in eight patients (4 LAR; 4 RSF); three patients were incontinent (38 percent). PNTML was normal in five patients (3 LAR; 2 RSF); one was incontinent (20 percent). Postoperative squeeze pressures were significantly higher for patients with normal PNTML than for those with bilateral abnormal PNTML (145vs.66.5 mmHg;P=0.0151). Patients with unilateral abnormal PNTML had higher postoperative squeeze pressures than those with bilateral abnormal PNTML, but the difference was not significant (94.8vs.66.5 mmHg; P=0.3182). The surgical procedure did not affect postoperative sphincter function or PNTML. CONCLUSION: Injury to the pudendal nerve contributes to postoperative incontinence after repair of rectal prolapse. Status of anal continence after surgical correction of rectal prolapse can be predicted by postoperative measurement of PNTML.

Key words

Prolapse Pudendal nerve Manometry Rectopexy Fecal incontinence 


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Copyright information

© American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisa H. Birnbaum
    • 1
  • Linda Stamm
    • 1
  • Janice F. Rafferty
    • 1
  • Robert D. Fry
    • 1
  • Ira J. Kodner
    • 1
  • James W. Fleshman
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineSt. Louis

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