Pudendal canal decompression in the treatment of erectile dysfunction

Arch Androl. 1994 Mar-Apr;32(2):141-9. doi: 10.3109/01485019408987779.


The results of the treatment of 7 patients with neurogenic erectile dysfunction (ED) by pudendal canal decompression are presented. Ages ranged from 46 to 56 years. Patients had penile, perineal, and scrotal hypoesthesia or anesthesia. EMG of the external urethral sphincter and levator ani muscle revealed diminished activity. There were increased bulbocavernosus and pudendal nerve terminal motor (PNTML) latencies. Patients tested normal for endocrine assays, Doppler examination of the penile arteries penobrachial pressure index, and cavernosometry. Nocturnal penile tumescence activity was absent. These findings pointed to neurogenic ED due to pudendal canal syndrome (PCS). Pudendal canal decompression was done through a para-anal incision. The inferior rectal nerve was followed to the pudendal nerve in the pudendal canal, which was slit open. Mean followup was 19.6 months. No complications were encountered. ED improved in 6 of the 7 patients 2-6 months postoperatively. Sensory and motor changes also improved. It is suggested that chronic straining at stool in these patients led to levator subluxation and sagging, and to pulling on the pudendal nerve with a resulting entrapment in the pudendal canal, pudendal neuropathy, and PCS. ED results from involvement of the penile and perineal branches of the pudendal nerve. To conclude, PCS may cause ED, which improves with pudendal canal decompression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / surgery
  • Penile Erection
  • Penis / innervation*