WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Meralgia paresthetica (MP) is a problem with the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN). It is also known as Bernhardt-Roth syndrome or femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome. A nerve is a pathway that carries messages to and from your brain. Your LFCN gives feeling to the front and outer sides of your thighs. The nerve follows a path that begins at your lower back, and goes through your pelvis. It attaches to your groin ligament and the muscles in each of your thighs (upper legs). When this nerve is squeezed, swollen, or damaged, it causes pain or numbness (loss of feeling) in your thigh. You may have pain or numbness in one or both of your thighs.
- You may get MP if you have certain medical conditions, take certain medicines, or wear tight clothing. You may also get MP if you have had surgery, or your hip or thigh has been injured. Your caregiver will ask about your symptoms and ask you how long you have had them. You may need blood tests, nerve stimulation tests, and x-rays of your abdomen, hip, or leg. You may need a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or an ultrasound. MP may go away without treatment after a few weeks or months. Treatment may include physical therapy, medicine, or rarely, surgery. If you need treatment for meralgia paresthetica, it can make your pain or numbness decrease or go away.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Anesthesia: This medicine helps take away or decrease your pain for a short time. It may be placed on your skin as a patch.
- Antiarrhythmics: This medicine is usually used to keep your heart beating normally. It may also help decrease pain.
- Anticonvulsants: This medicine is usually used to decrease seizures (convulsions) but may also be used to decrease pain.
- Antidepressants: This medicine is usually used to decrease depression (deep sadness). It may also be used to decrease pain.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: This family of medicine is also called NSAIDs. This medicine may help decrease pain. This medicine can increase the risk of bleeding, stomach ulcers, or kidney problems in some people.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Preventing meralgia paresthetica:
- Do not drink too much alcohol. Alcohol is found in liquor, such as beer, wine, vodka, whiskey, and other adult drinks. Drinking too much alcohol too often can increase your risk of having MP. Talk to your caregiver if you drink alcohol.
- Do not stand for a long time. Standing increases the pressure on your thigh nerve. Avoid standing for long periods of time to help decrease your thigh pain or numbness.
- Do not wear tight-fitting clothes. Wearing tight-fitting clothing, such as belts, corsets (binders), or tight pants may put pressure on your nerve.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar level in the range suggested by your caregiver. Having high blood sugar levels may cause you to get MP. Ask your caregiver for help keeping your blood sugar within the best range for you.
- Talk to your caregiver about a weight-loss plan if you are overweight. Being overweight can make pain caused by MP worse, and can cause serious health problems. Eating the right foods may help you lose weight. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat and fish.
Talk to your caregiver before you start exercising. Exercising can help you lose weight and it may decrease your blood pressure if it is too high. If you had treatments or surgery, ask your caregiver when you can do activities such as driving and work.
For support and more information:
You may feel scared, confused, and anxious because of your meralgia paresthetica. Talk to your caregivers, family, or friends about your feelings. Contact the following:
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda , MD 20824
Phone: 1- 301 - 496-5751
Phone: 1- 800 - 352-9424
Web Address: http://www.ninds.nih.gov
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You are having trouble with any of your therapy or exercises.
- You cannot feel or move your legs.
- You have questions or concerns about MP, or your medicine.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You suddenly have severe (very bad) leg pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.