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A lot of people have never heard of right iliac fossa pain or RIF. In most cases, when this pain is experienced, most people think of appendicitis. Even though RIF is one of the signs of appendicitis, there are various other causes that RIF points to. The doctors have no easy task when they need to make an assessment of abdominal pain in children. Assessing abdominal pain in pregnant women is hard as well.


People need to know that 50% of all cases of abdominal pain are RIF. Another very interesting fact is that only 50% of preoperative diagnoses are correct when a surgery of a suspectable appendicitis is performed. Men are more likely to suffer from appendicitis and women are more prone to appendicectomy. In a lot of cases a normal appendix is removed from women.


When a patient comes to hospital, it is important that the doctor gets to know as much as he or she can about the pain. The doctor will ask the patient to point to the pain, ask him when the pain first occurred, was it a sudden or a gradual pain and whether is it continuous. The patient will need to describe the nature of the pain as well.A systematic enquiry will need to be made as well. The doctor will need to know about any fever symptoms, patient’s appetite, any weight loss, bowel movement, menstrual history, vaginal discharge, urine and whether the patient is taking any medications.


The doctor will need to note the general health of the patient, temperature and pulse rate. The abdomen of the patient will need to be systematically examined. Testes and hernia orifices will also need to be tested.

People should know that RIF pain can be either acute or chronic.

Causes of acute RIF pain

There are lots of causes of acute RIF pain. They can be gastrointestinal, like appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, mesenteric disease, diverticulitis, Meckel’s diverticulitis, perforated peptic ulcer, right femoral or inguinal hernia and malignancy.The causes can also be gynecological. Some of the gynecological causes are pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy in the right fallopian tube, ovarian torsion, abortion, fibroid degeneration and pelvic tumor.Urological causes are also possible and some of the most common are ureteric colic, urinary tract infection and testicular torsion.Some of the other causes of acute RIF pain are infections, abdominal aortic aneurysm and situs inversus.

Causes of chronic RIF pain

The causes of chronic RIF pain can be gastrointestinal, gynecological or other, like right hip pathology and familial Mediterranean fever.

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