Page Updated on Jan 31, 2020 by Dr. Reyfman (Pain Management Specialist) of Pain Physicians NY

The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, a pure sensory nerve, is susceptible to compression as it courses through the abdominal cavity, under the inguinal ligament, and into the subcutaneous tissue of the thigh. The most frequent associated conditions are obesity, diabetes mellitus, and older age. Injury during local or regional surgery (eg, spine procedures, iliac crest bone harvesting, hip prosthesis, aorto-bifemoral bypass) is another important cause of meralgia paresthetica. 

Condition presents with burning pain, paresthesia (numbness and tingling), and hypesthesia (diminished sensation) over the upper outer thigh is the classic presentation of meralgia paresthetica. The onset of pain is typically weeks to months. Sensory loss is quite discrete, and it is often possible to clearly demarcate the area of numbness. The patient often rubs the outer thigh when describing the symptoms. Neurologic symptoms are restricted to sensory changes since the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve does not contain motor fibers.

Injection and blockade of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve as it enters the thigh next to the anterior superior iliac spine is uncommonly performed to distinguish meralgia paresthetica from referred pain. Best Brooklyn physicians offer patients to relieve pain with local injection for confirming the diagnosis.

Meralgia paresthetica is a self-limited, benign disease in most patients.  In patients with persistent symptoms for more than one to two months neuropathic medications can be used to treat the symptoms.