Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia Paresthetica
Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia Paresthetica is a condition that causes numbness and tingling on the outer thigh.  The cause of Meralgia Paresthetica is compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which governs sensation to that area.  There may also be a burning sensation in the area or a sensitivity to touch.  The cause of Meralgia Paresthetica is anything that causes compression of the nerve.  This includes tight fitting belts, obeisity, pregnancy or diabetes mellitus.  The disorder is diagnosed by history and physical exam.  Electromyography and nerve conduction studies can help to distinguish this problem from other issues such as a herniated disc.  Other conditions that may be confused with Meralgia Paresthetica include disorders of the hip, bursitis, diabetic femoral neuropathy and lumbar radiculopathy from a bulging disc.  Treatment begins with conservative modalities and includes physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.  Encouraging weight loss, loose fitting clothing and better diabetic control is helpful.  Other medications such as anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, gabapentin and pregabalin can be useful.  Injection of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve with a dilute solution of a local anesthetic and a steroid can alleviate the problem in selected cases.

 

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