Meralgia paresthetica is a neurological condition. It causes numbness, tingling, and sometimes a burning sensation in an oval-shaped area along the outer part of the thigh.
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WHAT CAUSES MERALGIA PARAESTHETICA?
Meralgia paresthetica is usually caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh as it passes through the inguinal ligament in the groin. This nerve supplies sensation to the skin over the outer thigh.
In many cases there is no specific factor which can be identified as the cause of this compression. However some factors may play a role, including obesity, tight belts or clothing, diabetes, and pregnancy. Occasionally, trauma to the nerve may have occurred.
HOW IS MERALGIA PARAESTHETICA TREATED?
Many cases of meralgia paresthetica settle with conservative measures, such as weight loss and avoiding tight belts or clothing. In persistent cases a steroid injection around the nerve may help. More severe cases which do not respond to conservative measures or medications, may be treated with surgery. Some patients benefit from radiofrequency lesioning of the nerve, a procedure performed by our pain specialists
WHAT DOES SURGERY INVOLVE?
Surgery involves a fairly small operation in the groin. The ligament which is compressing the nerve is divided, and the nerve is decompressed. Most patients benefit from surgery.