Meralgia Paresthetica Overview
Meralgia paresthetica is a health condition marked by burning thigh pain, tingling and numbness. The thigh pain is caused by the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LCFN) becoming compressed from weight gain, obesity, pregnancy or wearing clothing too tight. Pain Recovery Center of Tyler offers a variety of pain management treatments administered by our pain physicians to alleviate the troublesome symptoms of meralgia paresthetica in Tyler, Texas patients.
Meralgia Paresthetica Facts
Meralgia paresthetica is a condition characterized by tingling, burning thigh pain, as well as numbness in the outer thigh area. The condition is caused by compression, or pinching, of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LCFN). The LCFN is responsible for supplying sensation to the thigh’s skin surface. The LCFN is a sensory nerve only so it does not contribute to muscle movement in the thigh.
Patients suffering from meralgia paresthetica commonly experience a trapped LCFN under the inguinal ligament. The inguinal ligament runs along the groin from the abdomen to the upper thigh. The compression can be caused by weight gain, obesity, pregnancy, tight clothing or scar tissue from a past injury or surgery around the inguinal ligament.
Meralgia Paresthetica Symptoms
Symptoms of meralgia paresthetica include:
- Burning thigh pain
- Tingling and numbness in the thigh
- Aching in the groin area
- Pain spreading across the buttocks
Treating Meralgia Paresthetica
A pain physician must first diagnose meralgia paresthetica in order to prescribe the proper pain management treatment. To reach a diagnosis, a physician will perform a thorough medical review and physical examination. During the physical examination, the physician will check for sensory differences between the affected leg and the healthy leg, apply pressure on the LCFN to reproduce the burning thigh pain and perform X-rays or other diagnostic tests, such as a nerve block or electromyography.
Treatment for meralgia paresthetica varies based on the cause and severity of symptoms. Treatment frequently consists of a combination of treatment options, including:
- Losing weight
- Wearing looser clothing
- Pain medications
- Corticosteroid injections
For more resources on meralgia paresthetica, or for additional information on pain management for burning thigh pain, contact the Tyler, Texas pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.