ACNES – Anterior Cutaneous Nerve Entrapment, definition: A chronic neuropathic pain syndrome of the abdominal wall caused by entrapment of anterior cutaneous branches of 7 to 12th intercostal nerves along the lateral border of the anterior rectus abdominis fascia causing severe pain and tenderness of the involved dermatome.
For Emily, she has had 6 occurrences of ACNES flare ups in her lower right abdominal wall. When there is a trapped nerve, pain is excruciating, getting through a day is barely possible. There is no way to preventatively treat this condition. As nerves grow, they are getting stuck on scar tissue and regrow around the tissue and end up growing towards the skin and get stuck in the fascia and leave exposed nerve endings on the skin surface. Emily has been dealing with the entrapped nerves for 5 years now and had her 6th surgery in December 2019. Once the nerves are snipped, the pain is gone and living her normal life happens again!
Now that Emily is a senior in High School she is focusing on where to go to College, but has never had a doubt what she wanted to do. Being in healthcare and helping others is her passion. Emily will enter Nursing School in the Fall of 2020 with the dream of working at Boston Children’s Hospital once she graduates.
This will also be Emily’s final year fundraising. This is her 6th year and with everyone’s generous donations and support over the years, she has raised approximately $12,000!! This year, we are extremely excited to know that the funds she raises will go directly to ACNES Nerve Entrapment Research! Emily’s two main doctors, the one who performs the nerve block and her surgeon are heading up a research group at the hospital and all the money she raises this year will go to help further their research in the newly created group, the Pediatric Interventional Pain Program. It is great to know that research can be done to help others that may have this condition. It is still a rarely diagnosed and extremely hard to treat condition. Emily’s health would not be where it is today if it were not for Dr. David Mooney, he is probably our favorite human! With the research that he and Dr. Dinakar are performing, they will also be teaching other doctors and surgeons how to treat this condition.