09/14/2009 - Questions and Answers

Meralgia paresthetica

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Question

I suffer from meralgia paresthetica in my left thigh (entrapment of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve). I'm having trouble finding information about the condition.

Can you help?
 

Answer

Meralgia paresthetica is a condition that results from the pinching of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, causing numbness in the outer and frontal portion of the thigh. It's also known as lateral femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome.
 

The symptoms include:
- Burning or tingling sensation, and numbness, in the outer and front part of the thigh
- Symptoms are one-sided in about 80% of the cases, but may occur bilaterally in some people.
- The symptoms sometimes disappear spontaneously.
 

The cause is compression or pinching of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve by the ligament in the groin. Any condition that increases pressure on the groin may cause meralgia paresthetica:
- Obesity
- Pregnancy
- Tight garments such as corsets, jeans and belts
 

Nerve conduction studies can help in diagnosing the condition.
 

Treatment involves the following:
- Elimination of underlying causes, such as obesity and tight undergarments
- Local steroid injections, with or without local anesthetics
- In chronic, severe cases, surgery to release the compression on the nerve
 

The links below will be helpful in learning more.

Related Article:

Thigh Pain: Symptoms and Treatment for Thigh Pain

Related Links
NINDS: Meralgia Paresthetica
MedicineNet.com: Meralgia Paresthetica

Created on: 12/14/2004
Reviewed on: 09/14/2009

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