Meralgia Paresthetica

  • Medical Author:
    Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG

    Frederick Hecht, MD, lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Hecht is a Pediatrician and Medical Geneticist and is certified by both the American Boards of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics. Dr. Hecht was born and raised in Baltimore and attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. and the Sorbonne at the University of Paris receiving his BA degree cum laude with distinction from Dartmouth.

  • Medical Reviewer: Jon Glass, MD

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.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2018
Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Sub-specialty in Neurology


"Meralgia paresthetica (lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment)"