Appendix pain is caused by inflammation that occurs as the body's immune system responds to a bacterial infection, according to MedicineNet. When the opening of the appendix is blocked, bacteria enter the appendiceal walls and quickly multiply, causing swelling, inflammation and the build up of pus, asserts Mayo Clinic.
The appendix is a small tube of tissue extending from the large intestine, states WebMD. Its function is not known, and its removal does not result in any observable consequences. Inflammation of the appendix, a condition called appendicitis, requires immediate surgery to remove the appendix before it ruptures. If a rupture or perforation occurs, infection can spread into the abdominal cavity causing peritonitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the lining of the abdominal wall.
In some instances, an abscess filled with pus forms outside of the infected appendix and is surrounded by scar tissue that prevents the infection from spreading into the abdominal cavity, explains WebMD. While less dangerous than a ruptured appendix, an abscessed appendix can only be diagnosed as such during surgery. All cases of appendicitis are therefore considered medical emergencies requiring immediate surgery.
In addition to diffused or localised abdominal pain, symptoms of appendicitis generally include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal swelling and fever, reports WebMD. A large percentage of appendicitis cases also involve dull or sharp pain in the abdomen, back or rectum, painful urination, severe cramps and constipation or diarrhea with gas.