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Formerly, when appendicitis was not so well diagnosed as it is at the present time, the condition was often referred to the caecum or typhlum, and was known as typhlitis or perityphlitis, that is, inflammation of the caecum or surrouding tissues. Acute typhlitis itself is a rare disease except as a part of colitis (q.v.), but is extremely common in its mild for of chronic typhlitis due to presence of infectious organisms in the lower bowel and can be prodromal of an impending appendicitis if acute tenderness upon palpation is found. Perityphlitis, as this is called, is a constant accompaniment of appendicitis.
McBURNEY'S POINT. This is a palpation point situated in the right iliac fossa, about 2 in. above the right anterior superior spine of the ilium, on a line drawn from this spine to the umbilicus. It lies beyond the outer edge of the right rectus muscle, and roughly corresponds to the'root of the appendix.
McBurney was the first to demonstrate that a most important definite sign of acute appendicitis was the exquisite tenderness elicited on deep pressure over this point. Mild to moderate tenderness is evidence of typhlitis.
All physical examinations should include palpation of McBurney's point for evidence of typhlitis, and thus evidence of toxaemia (q.v.).
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Pain on pressure over an inflamed appendix is worst at the junction of the outer and middle thirds of a line from the navel to the anterior superior spine of the ilium ñ McBurneyís point.