Meralgia Paresthetica

Medical Author:
Medical Reviewer:

What is meralgia paresthetica?

Meralgia paresthetica is an entrapment or "pinching" of the nerve that supplies sensation to the outer portion of the thigh. The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve becomes "entrapped" as it passes under the ligament of the groin. The pressure on the nerve causes abnormal sensations of burning, pain, and numbness in the distribution of this nerve, the outer and part of the front of the thigh.

Meralgia paresthetica is also known as lateral femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome.

What causes meralgia paresthetica?

Causes of meralgia paresthetica include any condition that leads to an increase in pressure on the groin (usually associated with enlargement of the belly, such as in obesity or pregnancy).

What is the treatment for meralgia paresthetica?

The treatment of meralgia paresthetica usually involves addressing the underlying cause. Meralgia paresthetica can also be treated by local cortisone injection at the point where the nerve crosses the crease in the groin. Medications commonly utilized in the treatment of neuropathic pain, such as gabapentin, may be used. Infrequently, surgical release of the nerve is necessary.

Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/17/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Meralgia Paresthetica - Treatment Question: What treatment was effective for your meralgia paresthetica?